Corona mother arrested weeks after running over 6-year-old son, killing him, police say

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A Corona mother was arrested Thursday, more than two weeks after running over her 6-year-old son with her car and killing him, police said.

Officers responded about 7:55 a.m. Aug. 22 to the 1400 block of Sallie Jeffreys Way for a report of a person getting hit by a car, according to the Corona Police Department. They found Duner Larson, 6, had been hit; he was hospitalized for his injuries and later died.

According to investigators, Melissa Damron, 42, locked her son out of the car before driving away from their house. The child chased after the car and tried to open the door, but Damron continued driving. Unable to hold on, Duner fell into the road and was run over by the car.


Authorities have identified the man killed in the early Tuesday crash in West Compton, in which the man’s vehicle slammed into a firetruck.

Sept. 7, 2023

Damron “knew Duner was close enough to the vehicle to present a hazard and she drove with gross negligence, causing her son’s death,” investigators said. Drugs or alcohol didn’t appear to be factors in the incident.

Damron was arrested Thursday on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and child endangerment causing death, according to the Police Department. She was released on $50,000 bail. The case has been forwarded to the Riverside County district attorney’s office.

“We understand this is a traumatic incident that affects not only the involved family but the community as well,” police said in a news release. “Trauma Intervention volunteers responded to the scene and the hospital to provide counseling resources.”