DES MOINES, Iowa — When Timothy Maxon saw a car strike a child about 15 yards from where he was parked Wednesday near an elementary school in Marshalltown, Iowa, he tried to help.
"Immediately I blared on my horn to get them to stop. I got out of my car, trying to call 911, but I couldn’t get my fingers to work fast enough," the 35-year-old said. "I didn’t even realize it was my son until I got up to him.”
Franklin Elementary second-grader Christian Maxon, 8, was taken to a local hospital before being flown by helicopter to Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines, where he was pronounced dead.
Witnesses told police that a vehicle turned right onto West Main Street and struck the child. Police are investigating the accident. No charges have been filed against the driver, Marilyn Diggins, 71.
Christian's parents are still trying to comprehend the loss of the bright-eyed boy, who loved Cub Scouts, video games, fishing and the Iowa Hawkeyes.
'They didn't say what had happened'
Brittany Maxon, 32, was working from home when she got a call that there had been an accident at Franklin Elementary.
"I just ran out the door. I didn't take time to find anybody to cover (for) me," she said. "They just said there had been an accident and I needed to get to the school; they didn’t say what had happened."
When arrived at the scene, people realized who she was and tried to get her on the ambulance with her son.
"They’re trying to stop (the ambulance) and going, ‘This is his mom,'" she said. "At that point, I was close enough that I could see the blood on the ground where it had happened, and there was a lot, and they knew it was bad."
There was optimism when the boy arrived at the hospital: Christian was breathing on his own.
Then his heart stopped. Doctors were able to revive him, but only for moments, his mother said. Christian's heart would stop several times.
“Then when they went to put him on the Life Flight, they’re like, ‘We’re moving him, but we are not really hopeful that we’re gonna be able to keep his heart going,'" said Brittany, who was at her son's side during the flight.
Medical professionals administered CPR on the boy while on the helicopter and as he was transported inside the hospital in Des Moines, Brittany said. She was on the ground just a couple of minutes when doctors told her Christian had died.
“Then they had to call it,” because they had been doing CPR so long, she said. “At that point, he wasn’t coming back."
For Brittany, the day was a terrible dream she couldn't end. Timothy learned just after arriving at the hospital in Des Moines that his son had died.
Christian's parents know he suffered head trauma, but they don't have specifics about other injuries. They haven't yet learned what police have discovered in their investigation.
'They still took our son's life'
Police are still interviewing witnesses and no decision on charges will come until the investigation is complete, Marshalltown Police Lt. Rick Bellile said Saturday.
“It’d be nice to know what’s going to happen, if anything is going to happen,” Timothy said. "Regardless of if the (driver) was 17 or 71, they still took our son’s life.”
Both said they have struggled to eat, sleep and work since the deadly collision. Brittany said she hasn't been able to drive. Since Wednesday, she hasn't slept in the home she shared with Christian and her daughter. Brittany and Timothy separated prior to their child's death.
They haven't told Christian's younger sister — she will be 4 years old this month — about the tragedy. His 14-year-old sister knows and is grieving deeply.
"It’s been a very tough and trialsome week," Timothy said. “Just devastation.”
A funeral is planned for Monday. Mitchell Funeral Home officials said they will pay for the boy's service.
Christian's parents thanked the funeral home and the Marshalltown community for its support following the loss of their "sweet" and "caring" child. People have reached out to the parents and their extended families to offer help.
Timothy said he can't block out the graphic image of his boy being hit.
“I do still see it from time to time," he said. "Mostly while trying to sleep."
But Christian's family, classmates and teachers will remember him as so much more than what happened Wednesday, his mother said. They'll remember his compassion, his friendliness.
"There was not one bad thing about that kid, not one bad thing," Timothy said. “Had the smile of an angel, his eyes were just unbelievable. The most adorable, loving, caring gentleman I’ve ever met in my life."
Follow Tyler Davis on Twitter @TDavisDMR.
This article originally appeared on Des Moines Register: Man races to help child hit by car in Iowa: 'I didn't even realize it was my son'