DENISON, Tex. – A Denison family is dealing with the pain of losing a 14-month old child. Now Child Protective Services are stepping in. Zachary Ellis Duncan died on Sunday after being hit by a car while playing in puddles in front of his home. His mother was also hurt in that accident after trying to save her child.
Family members tell us Child Protective Services is looking into what happened. It's not the first time mother Victoria Neasbitt and her children have been involved with CPS.
Ruby O’Neal says Zachary’s mother and her sister-in-law, Victoria Neasbitt "is not a bad mother” and that “she did what she could to take care of her children."
Neasbitt's family is grieving for the loss of Zachary, but they're also defending the actions of his mother.
"She’s in the hospital with injuries sustained from trying to save her son's life."
Denison police are still investigating details surrounding Sunday’s accident and have already charged the driver, Terri Perdew, with manslaughter.
As for Zachary’s mother, the family says the single mom had just gotten back on her feet after losing her job, regaining custody of her children weeks prior to the accident.
According to a CPS case file, three children were removed from the home last year. Court documents state living conditions were inadequate for the children.
All three children were placed in foster care at that time.
Ruby O’Neal says it's normal for kids to play outside in puddles and people need to refocus their attention on praying for the women who hit Zachary and not the CPS investigation.
"Everybody that's making negative comments on my family, you need to take and refocus your energy and pray for this woman," O’Neal said of her sister-in-law.
Family members say they have forgiven the woman who hit Zachary, and it was an unfortunate accident.
CPS officials won't comment on the case, but Denison police confirm that an investigation is underway.
Funeral services for Zachary are scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday.