CBS 11’s Joel Thomas Reports:

BURLESON (CBSDFW.COM) – Members of the small community of RVs and trailer homes in Burleson didn’t suspect anything was wrong Thursday evening as children played nearby.

“I heard the kids screaming and I thought they were playing, because every day they’re out there playing,” said neighborhood resident Carly Cabe.

But two brothers, one four and the other five, had somehow found the keys to the family mini-van just a couple of trailers down from Cabe, started it and managed to get it into gear, driving forward.

“The mother heard the vehicle start and came running out with her baby infant in her arms and tried to stop the vehicle and was struck by the vehicle,” Burleson Police Commander Cindy Aaron.

The mother and her nearly four-week-old baby were pinned under the van. Police say a man visiting a neighbor jumped into the van, put on the brakes and put it into park. He yelled for help after getting the two boys out of the van.

“I stepped out the door to see what was going on and as I got closer I saw there was a body under the car,” said Craig Lessard, who lives across the street from where the van stopped.

“So I went over there and just grabbed the wheel well and helped lift the car up,” he said. “There were other people there too. And then I saw her take a breath when I took the weight of the car off. About the only thing she would say is, ‘How’s my baby?’ We said, the baby’s okay. Just stay calm. Don’t move.”

The baby was later pronounced dead at the scene. The mother was taken by air ambulance to the hospital with multiple broken bones. The closely-knit community is stunned by the tragedy.

“Everyone here is usually happy-go-lucky,” said Stacy Wagner, a community resident. “But since last night its like this dark cloud fell over everyone. Its like you know what happened but you don’t want to talk about it.”

Police are still investigating how the boys managed to get the van into gear but at this point they’re calling the incident a terrible accident.

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App

Watch & Listen LIVE