Grandmother of boy killed in Wilson wreck said he was in foster care

WILSON, Okla. - A 5-year-old boy has been killed when he was hit by a car after a 13-year-old started it to warm it up. The Oklahoma Highway Patrol says 5-year-old John Gifford of Wilson died in the accident in Carter County just before 11 Tuesday morning.
BY RANDY ELLIS - Staff Writer Modified: November 25, 2008 at 9:15 pm •  Published: November 25, 2008
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p />Havlik said her son had been raising the children alone after their mother left.

DHS took custody of the boys about two years ago after accusing her son of neglect, Havlik said.

“Most of the issues were false,” she contends.

Havlik said Melvern Gifford has six children, but the two oldest are grown. She said DHS recently notified him they were placing his kids up for adoption and initiated efforts to make him pay thousands of dollars in child support.

George Johnson, DHS spokesman, confirmed today that the 5-year-old child who was killed was in DHS custody, but refused to say whether the 13-year-old girl was a foster child as well.

She was not related to the victim by blood, the grandmother said.

“In any child death there is an immediate investigation and the results will be turned over to the district attorney as required by law,” Johnson said.

Johnson said state law prevents him from providing additional details about the situation.

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