Driver going wrong-way in Texas Walmart parking lot hits, kills toddler

Eli sits with his mother Ashley Cervantes, a few months before he was killed in Austin, Texas. (Provided Photo/KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police said the driver went the wrong way down an aisle at the Walmart off I-35 near Parmer Lane when the car hit Eli Vela.

“We made him a cake.”

That is what Ashley Cervantes did one year ago for her son Eli on his first birthday. He didn’t make it to his second.

“I wouldn’t want anyone to see what me and my kids had to see,” said Cervantes.

Eli’s mother saw a driver hit her son in the Walmart parking lot as she was getting her youngest daughter out of the car. Cervantes says once Eli walked to the back of the truck, he was hit.

“I’m trying to talk to him, ‘Eli it’s okay, wake up Eli’ and screaming and hollering,” said Cervantes, right after her son was hit.

Eli died at the hospital. He leaves behind four brothers and sisters.


His oldest sister Hennessy is feeling down now that Eli’s gone. But she’s holding on to their memories.

“We liked to play hide and seek,” says Eli’s sister Hennessy Cardell.

Cervantes hopes other drivers think about their story when they’re behind the wheel.

“Start taking into consideration to going the right way because if it can happen to my son, and I’m sure it happened to other people as well, it can happen any second,” says Cervantes.


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