Harnett County family grieving death of toddler

Friday, July 14, 2017
Family grief-stricken after terrible accident
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Jaida Jones was accidentally struck and killed by her grandmother's vehicle in their driveway.

COATS, North Carolina (WTVD) -- A grandmother is heartbroken over the death of her granddaughter. She was behind the wheel of the vehicle that ran over her nearly 2-year-old granddaughter.

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Harnett County authorities say they got the call for help Tuesday morning at 11:28 a.m. They were told a child had been hit by a vehicle in a driveway of a home off N.C. Highway 55 in Coats.

That child was Jaida Jones. Her family was planning her second birthday party for Sunday. Jaida was pronounced dead at Central Harnett Hospital about an hour later.

In Spanish, the grandmother, Fabiola Arriola, said she remembers backing out of the driveway, thinking it was clear of children when she said it felt like she stepped on something.

She said she stopped and saw that she had hit her granddaughter. She described how she took Jaida in her arms and said there was a lot of blood.

Jaida's father described getting the phone call of what happened that morning.

"I woke up to the phone ringing, when I opened my messages the first thing I seen is 'your daughter got ran over,' " said James Jones, Jaida's father.

Through tears, he said he didn't know what to think. He said others tried to comfort him while he waited for news from the hospital but said he could already feel that his little girl was gone.

"I didn't know what to do," Jones said. "I didn't know how to feel. I didn't know how to think. I still don't."

A memorial of balloons, flowers and candles with a photo of Jaida, has been set up along the driveway.

The family is from Chicago and said they've only been in North Carolina a few years. They want to bury Jaida in Chicago. A family friend has set up a fundraising site to help the family with expenses.


"I don't know how to wake up every morning and I think about her and know that I can't ever touch her again, I can't ever feel her again," said a distraught Jones.

Though the Harnett County Sheriff's Office said it is investigating the death, at this time there is no indication of this being anything other than a tragic accident.