Desmond Thomas-2012

An 11-year-old boy who had autism died when he was hit by a sports utility vehicle as he tried to cross the Interstate 10 service road in west Houston Wednesday night.

The collision happened about 7:40 p.m. in the 11300 block of the westbound Katy Freeway service road near Kirkwood, according to the Houston Police Department.

Police identified the child as Desmond Thomas, of Houston. Police said the boy reportedly had autism.

Police said Thomas ran into traffic on the service road and the driver of a Lincoln Navigator that was traveling westbound on the roadway hit him. Thomas was rushed to Texas Children’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Police said The SUV driver was unable to avoid hitting Thomas and stopped after the collision. The driver, police said, showed no signs of intoxication or impairment. He was questioned at the scene and released.

The boy has special needs and was in the care of his father when he wandered away as the father was doing laundry, said Estella Olguin, spokeswoman for state Child Protective Services.

“He was being watched,” Olguin said, “but he just wandered away. It’s tragic.”

Olguin said CPS is investigating the case, which is agency protocol whenever a child dies. The agency is also helping the boy’s family members with counseling for their grief.

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