Toddler's smile 'could light up the world'
Declan Leo Cooney was "a blessing, funny, happy and joyful, with a smile that could light up the world," reads his obituary.
Declan, 23 months old, died Friday, June 6, from injuries he sustained after being hit by a car in his driveway on Mill Road. An SUV, according to New Canaan police, was attempting to back out of the driveway.
The obituary, prepared by Celentano Funeral Home, continues to describe the toddler as someone who "loved his trains and cars, and playing outside with his brother and sisters. He loved music and dancing, and he loved hockey, but most of all, he loved his family."
Declan, who would have turned 2 on June 19, was the son of Josh and Jude Cooney, according to the obituary posted on the funeral home's website. He is also survived by three sisters -- Lydon, Keira and Niamh Cooney -- and a brother, Teddy Cooney.
"He took delight in their baseball, soccer and lacrosse games; their family dinners; their warm and loving community of friends; all his many cousins, aunts and uncles; and great aunts and uncles," the obituary states. "He was generous with his hugs, and always seemed to know when someone needed one."
A memorial service was scheduled for Wednesday, June 11, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Aloysius Church, 40 Maple St.
The investigation into the accident continues, according to Police Chief Leon Krolikowski, who added that the identity of the driver and other details would not be released until the inquiry is complete.
"Identifying the driver at this time would serve no purpose other than to continue to traumatize the family," he said in an email Monday.
"We want the family to be given the respect they so dearly need so they can start the healing process.
"The New Canaan community should understand the sensitivity of our investigation as we all cope with this heartbreaking event," he said. "Once our investigation is closed, we will consider releasing more details."
Police responded to 233 Mill Road around 4 p.m. June 6, when it was reported that a young boy was hit by a car on a shared driveway, according to scanner reports. The child was reportedly unresponsive and CPR was administered. An ambulance was seen leaving the driveway at around 4:15 p.m.
Krolikowski said the child was treated at the scene and transported to Norwalk Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The chief said he was not sure how many families share the driveway, but a number of people may be questioned in the coming days.
"We will conduct a very comprehensive investigation and interview everyone we need to," he wrote.
In a statement one day after the incident, First Selectman Robert Mallozzi offered his condolences and said the town is prepared to help the family.
"I speak for our entire town when I express that we are all devastated by the tragic loss this family has experienced; our collective hearts go out to this family," he wrote. "I know that New Canaan's churches, families, friends and institutions will be on hand to assist in any manner possible to comfort and help during this time of need and beyond."
Mallozzi also thanked the team who responded to the scene Friday.
"I also want to acknowledge our first responders, who, while prepared to react to any number of emergencies, could never be in a position to be fully prepared for the scene they encountered and assisted on yesterday," Mallozzi said in the statement. "I know they did all in their capacity to help and our community stands with them to offer any help and support necessary."
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