Mother was driving SUV that hit, killed 2-year-old boy in Lehi; family grateful for community support

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LEHI, Utah - The grandfather of the 2-year-old boy who was struck and killed by an SUV in Lehi Saturday night confirms the child's mother was the one driving the vehicle involved.

Two-year-old Tallin "Tui" Harding's grandfather Craig Harding said the boy's mother, Nikki Harding, is absolutely devastated. But he said Sunday the family has been touched by the outpouring of support from the community.

"This is something you just don't think about," he said. "Whoever thinks about having to plan a funeral arrangement for a two-year-old child?"

Tallin Harding. Image courtesy YouCaring.com

Tallin Harding. Image courtesy YouCaring.com

Tallin "Tui" Harding was the youngest of five children to Kaj and Nikki Harding. He was going to turn 3 on April 9.

On Saturday around 5:35 p.m., Tallin was out riding his scooter with his father near his home in Lehi when his mother, Nikki Harding, backed out of the driveway and accidentally struck her young son. Police said the boy suffered fatal injuries and immediately died at the scene.

Craig Harding talked about how his daughter-in-law had no time to react.

"Apparently, Tallin made a beeline right in front of the vehicle as she was leaving, and she didn't see him because of the height of the vehicle and smallness of the child--and he ran right into the front tire," he said.

He said she was confused at first about what she had hit.

"In fact, I believe she thought she ran over a toy at first," he said.

Tallin Harding's grandfather says the boy's mother is inconsolable.

"She is just beside herself," Craig Harding said. "She hasn't slept since, well, all night long. She hasn't eaten anything. Dad and her are totally distraught of course."

The community has been tying blue ribbons around the neighborhood as a tribute to Tallin. The boy's grandfather says his mother was close to her neighbors, and everyone is rallying around to support her.

"They're the perfect family," Craig Harding said. "And she's just the perfect mother. She does everything for everybody."

He said they're grateful for the support.

"Thanks for the family and friends that have come around and the neighbors," he said. "They really want to express their appreciation for everything that has been done for them. Meals have been coming in."

Family and friends have set up a web page for anyone who wants to donate to help the family with funeral arrangements and other expenses, click here for details.

19 comments

  • Le Roy

    Praying for this Family that they can get thru this at this time. With summer/ SPRING Upou Us We as Adults Need to Look Out for Our Little Ones!! No Matter Where A Family Is At If Someone is backing out of a Driveway A Park, Parking lot An Adult Should Take it up Her/HIS SELF THAT THE DRIVER GET OUT SAFTLEY EVERTIME EVEN THO IT CAN BE A CONVENIENCE, To Some. Every family Gathering or Friends Gathering and There A lot Of kids from the nighbor hood playing we Always make Sure there is Two adults at All Times and That The Kids Know Someone is backing out and everyone need to be on the grass or Some where safe!! Once This person is Gone a The kids Go back to playing. A sign ready warning I have small kids Before backing up Have an Adult Walk around your car as You Should to And we will wait until it clear for you to back up for all our safty! IF ONE OF MY KIDS OR NIGHBOR KIDS GET HURT BECAUSE YOU DECIDED NOT TO GET AN ADULT OR YOU SAID YOU WALKED AROUND YOUR CAR, 4 ANGEL VIDEO RECORDER, With TIME AND DATE DOES NOT LIE. YOU WILL BE SUED AND PROSECUTOR TOGETHER FOR US EXTENT OF THE LAW!!! Your asking yourself why these signs are big SCREWED in where there parking. I WILL NOT GET MY CHILD OR MY NIECE OR NEPHEW’S OR THEIR FRIENDS BACK BECAUSE YOU DECIDED NOT TO GET OUT AND GET A RESPONSIBLE ADULT, TO GUIDE YOU OUT SAFTLEY!!! THIS POST IS NOT MEANT TOWARDS ANYONE WHO HAS LOST A LOVED ONE DUE TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES. I’VE LOST TWO FAMILY MEMBERS TO PEOPLE BACKING OUT OF MY DRIVEWAY. AND DECIDED ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

    • Tyler

      Parents should take it upon themselves to make sure their kid isn’t playing around cars because parents know that their children are their responsibility and not someone else’s. Parking lots and driveways are NOT places for children to be…especially playing. Parents need to tell their kids to NEVER play in or near a car, in a parking lot, a driveway and especially the street. Sadly they don’t. They want everyone else to spend every waking moment keeping their eyes and ears open for kids that aren’t their responsibility.

    • Laura

      Let’s have a little respect for the family!! They just lost a child. Good idea!!! But not the time or place to post that. :/

  • Mimi

    My heart breaks for this mother and her family. It’s hard not to cry reading this. I pray for peace and comfort for her and her family.

  • j gregersen

    My heart is broken for you. Its truly a horrible accident. I lost two newborns myself, and there is no greater pain. Always in my mind, heart, and prayers. We are so very sorry for your loss.

  • Sure

    Praying for this family! Though I don’t know you, I am mourning this tragic loss with you. May you be comforted until you are reunited with your sweet little perfect son once again. Families can be together forever!

  • Tess

    Oh dear mother, if you are reading these comments, let the Lord comfort you with his love. Your little darling is safe in heaven and you will see him again. We have that hope -not as the world gives, but through our Saviour Jesus. He will be your strength, may angels minister comfort to you. ♡

  • Greg

    Compare and contrast two different reactions from Utahns about this tragic event. One side is littered (literally) with Mormon bashing and blaming the Mormon parents for something that happens through this country. The other side is that Bronco Mendenhall (along with some players) visited with the family, who are huge BYU fans, to offer their condolences. Which kind of person would you rather be in this time of tragedy? Those that criticize or those who comfort? Blessings to the family during this heartbreak. Those that are critical, you deserve your criticism..

  • darlene

    My son was taken to court today by this mom asking to take away his custody of the dead boys brother. We just saw this tragedy online and couldn’t believe she went through with court!! She just lost her baby and is focused on taking away her ex husband’s ONLY baby from him. Sad.

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