A Miami woman is grieving the death of her 18-month-old granddaughter who died Oct. 24 in a highly publicized Oklahoma City hayride accident.
Zoe Montgomery, daughter of Miami native Shane Montgomery and granddaughter of local Pam David, died after falling behind the wheel of a tractor trailer at the Orr Family Farm.
Carrie Montgomery, 24, had taken her daughter to the farm to celebrate the toddler's second Halloween - she had no idea the horror that would soon unfold.
After a visit to the pumpkin patch, the mother-daughter team joined about 75 others for a hayride, including Erica Smith and her 2-year-old son.
“My son and this little girl were picking out pumpkins in a pumpkin patch just five minutes before both our worlds were changed forever,” Smith said.
Assuming the hayride had ended, Carrie Montgomery and many others stepped off the trailer then turned to reach for her daughter when the tractor lunged forward, throwing Zoe to the ground.
According to a police report, the toddler landed near the tires. Carrie Montgomery, of Moore, threw herself toward her daughter in an attempt to pull her to safety, but it was too late.
Zoe Montgomery was crushed beneath the wheels of the flatbed trailer loaded with hay bales and riders.
“It happened around 7 Friday night, my son called me at 9,” David said. “We left immediately for Oklahoma City. It was the longest three hours of my life.”
Zoe's father was at work at the time of the accident.
“It's really been hard on him,” David said. “But Carrie is taking it the hardest - she was there and had to see it.”
David said there are just no words to describe the pain of losing her only grandchild.
“She was beautiful,” David said. “She was so loving - a very happy little girl. I wish I could have spent more time with her.”
Witnesses say the scene will forever remain embedded in their minds. Among those in attendance was a group of Girl Scouts. Authorities say counselors were sent to the young girls' school to help them deal with the tragedy.
“This has been a near impossible thing to wrap my mind around,” Smith said. “It's something that causes shock and disbelief one minute, and despair and sympathy the next. It's something I never thought I would have to see. Now, it is something I'll see for the rest of my life.”