Death of Upshur County 4-year-old ruled accidental

Published on Thursday, 14 August 2014 14:46 - Written by BY PHILLIP WILLIAMS, Special Correspondent

GILMER -- Upshur County Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Lyle Potter said today he has ruled that the death of a 4-year-old Gilmer boy whose father ran over him in a pickup truck Sunday night as accidental.

Potter said an autopsy he ordered performed at the Forensic Medical of Texas Tyler facility in Owentown showed Ryley Johnston, son of Brian and Rachael Johnston, died from blunt force trauma.

The accident occurred probably about 9 or 9:30 p.m. at Brian Johnston's shop on VFW Road just west of Gilmer, said Potter. The judge said he pronounced the child dead at the scene at 10:48 p.m.

Potter had said earlier this week he did not anticipate charges being filed in the accident. He said Thursday he remained uncertain whether the pickup was going forward or backward when the child was struck.

The Upshur County Sheriff's Office investigated the death.

Law enforcement and emergency personnel converged Sunday evening on the area where Buffalo Street forks with VFW Road just outside the western Gilmer city limits. Besides the sheriff's office, the responders included the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Gilmer Fire Department, Gilmer police and ETMC ambulances.

Funeral services for the child were held Wedneday afternoon at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints just outside Gilmer.