Corona mother accused of locking 6-year-old son out of car, fatally striking him as he chased her

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Friday, September 8, 2023
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CORONA, Calif. (KABC) -- A Corona mother was arrested Thursday, more than two weeks after authorities say she ran over her 6-year-old son as he chased after her car while she drove away from their house.

Melissa Damron, 42, was taken into custody Thursday on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter and child endangerment for the death of Duner Larson.

Damron posted $50,000 bail bail and was released from the Corona Jail.

Duner was fatally injured shortly before 8 a.m. on Aug. 22 in front of his family home on Sallie Jeffreys Way, just north of Golden Harvest Drive, according to the Corona Police Department.

There are less than a half-dozen properties on the secluded street at the south end of the city.

The investigation indicated that Damron locked the boy out of the vehicle before she drove away from their residence, according to a police statement. "Duner chased after the vehicle and attempted to open her car door. Melissa continued driving, and Duner fell into the roadway, where he was run over by the car," the news release said.

The boy was taken to nearby Corona Regional Medical Center, where he died.

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"Evidence showed Melissa knew Duner was close enough to the vehicle to present a hazard, and she drove with gross negligence, causing her son's death," the police department said, adding that drugs or alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the incident.

The case was submitted to the Riverside County district attorney's office for review.

Anyone with information was asked to contact Corona police Officer Jacob Westall at