A family whose 18-month-old died after being struck by a vehicle says the tragedy has left them devastated, said a family friend.

“It goes without saying that the family is devastated at the loss of their son to this tragic accident,” said Paul Corrigan, who read out a statement on behalf of the family at their home Thursday afternoon.

“Their source of comfort at this time has been their faith in knowing their son is in God’s loving embrace and the prayers of all those family, friends and well wishers, for which they are very thankful.”

Edmonton police say young Michel Petersen was run over by a vehicle on his family’s driveway along O’Connor Close shortly after 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The toddler died a few moments later while being treated in hospital.

Police say a “family member” was behind the wheel when the incident occurred and investigators are still trying to pinpoint where the child was standing when the vehicle was backing out.

“While they continue to ask for prayers and support, the family would like the opportunity to grieve their son in private,” said Corrigan while reading the statement. “The family would like to thank all of the first responders on scene for their professionalism and empathy.”