By Joe Beck
A 6-year-old boy died around 8 p.m. Saturday evening when he was struck by a vehicle on South Street in Front Royal.
Town police identified the victim as Ja'Marion Tyreek Dawson, a kindergartner at Hilda J. Barbour Elementary School.
Police Chief Norman Shiflett said the boy died "instantly" when he was struck by a green Toyota 4-Runner as he tried to cross the street unattended in front of the South Street McDonald's.
Authorities said the boy became separated from his family while they were in Martin's grocery store. Police said he left the store after being unable to locate his family and set out on foot toward his home in the area behind McDonald's.
"Eyewitnesses reported that he just started out in traffic," Shiflett said. "He didn't look before he crossed the street. He just ran out in front of traffic."
Shiflett said there was no speed or alcohol involved in the accident, and no charges will be filed.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family," Shiflett said, adding, "It was a terrible incident."
Front Royal police received assistance from Warren County Fire and Rescue Service, Virginia State Police and the Warren County Sheriff's Office in responding to the accident.
Shiflett confirmed reports that a brawl broke out at the McDonald's after the accident. He said the disturbance arose from a dispute related to the accident. Police quelled the disturbance with no arrests or reported injuries, Shiflett said.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org