Dad charged after kids die in freak fall from backhoe bucket

Two Texas children — a girl, 7 and a boy, 11 — have died in a freak fall from the bucket of a moving backhoe, and now their father, who was driving, is facing manslaughter charges.

The tragic kids were among several children and adults who were on board or hanging on to the construction vehicle for what started as a “joy ride” Saturday near Roanoke, the Denton Record-Chronicle reported.

As the backhoe trundled along a private road, driver Vijender Chauhan, 40, of Crowley, caused the front bucket of the John Deere backhoe to dump, officials told the news outlet.

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His son Raj and daughter Sonakshi fell to the ground and were immediately run over by the backhoe, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

The kids were pronounced dead at the scene just before 8 p.m. Two other children and an adult who had also been riding on the backhoe were rushed to hospitals, officials said — the adult with serious injuries.

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Chauhan, who was uninjured, is charged with two counts of manslaughter carrying a prison sentence of anywhere from two to 20 years; he is additionally charged with three counts of endangering a child and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

He is free on $280,000 bail he posted the day of his arrest, the Record-Chronicle said.

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