Co-workers raising money for mother of child killed in ‘tragic accident’

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PULLMAN, Mich. — Co-workers are working to raise money for a single mother who lost her son in what police described as a "tragic accident" Saturday night after the child was run over by a relative.

One-year-old Brentyn Allen Combs-Easterday was killed after being hit by a pick-up truck driven by his grandfather.

It happened just before 8 p.m. Saturday in the driveway of a home belonging to the boy's grandparents. They were babysitting while the boy's mother was at work.

“As soon as I gave her the phone, she just fell, she ran out of the building just heartbroken," said Angelica DeLaCruz, who was working with the boy's mother Mandi Combs the night of the accident.

"It was really hard living that moment with her."

Brentyn got away from his grandmother for a moment and was hit by his grandfather, who was moving the truck and didn't know the child was nearby, deputies said Saturday.

"It was an accident," DeLaCruz said. "[His step-grandpa] is going through a rough time and there’s a lot of people holding their back."

DeLaCruz said was given permission to speak on behalf of the family who was not ready to speak publicly. She said she took it upon herself to set up donation jars around town and a GoFundMe page to raise funds to pay for a funeral service for the toddler.

"I was a single mom at one point and I struggled, so I just couldn’t bear the thought," she said. "I know unexpected things like this do cost a lot... and I think, for being a little baby unexpectedly taken, he needs the perfect services that he deserves.”

Combs insisted on returning to work just days after the accident, DeLaCruz said, fearing if she wasn't working she wouldn't have enough money to support her young daughter or pay for a funeral for her son.

On top of donation jars and the GoFundMe, DeLaCruz said she plans to donate $1 of every purchase made through the deli at her Marathon gas station in Pullman to Combs to cover funeral expenses.

"I told her that she was not going to have to worry about any money, that I was going to do whatever I had to do to make her feel comfortable so she doesn’t have the pressure," DeLaCruz said.

Those interested in donating to the GoFundMe can do so here.

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