It is believed the boy, who has autism, jumped out of his state government carer’s car and ran across the M11 motorway, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. His carer, 27-year-old Rachel Martin, then chased after the boy but both were hit by a truck and died instantly.
Traffic and Highway Patrol’s Acting Assistant Commissioner Stuart Smith recounted the devastating turn of events to The Daily Telegraph.
“The two that were on the M1 were in a vehicle prior to entering the road system,” he said.
“We believe they parked in the breakdown bay and the driver opened the door of the vehicle. The boy ran out onto the road, chased by the driver.”
He added: “Obviously the driver is taking it fairly hard”.
At the time of his death, the 8-year-old was in the care of the Department of Family and Community Services.
“The death of any child is a tragedy. FACS was deeply saddened to hear about the death of a young boy and 28-year-old woman near Newcastle on Sunday,” a spokesman said.
This article originally appeared on marie claire.