A father accidentally ran over his three-year-old toddler with the family SUV in a Waffle House parking lot in Brandon, Florida, on March 12.
The accident caused the child severe head injuries and he was pronounced dead shortly after at the Brandon Regional Hospital, according to Tampa Bay Times.
Jeremiah Rios’s parents were leaving the Waffle House at 1412 State Road and each of them wrongly thought that they had put Rios in their 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe.
The parents of the 3-year-old each thought the other had placed the boy in the family’s vehicle.https://t.co/hWi6PL0oNo
— Tampa Bay Times (@TB_Times) March 13, 2019
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said at about 9:45 p.m. the front right tire of the Tahoe rammed the toddler as his father, Guillermo Junior Montoya Rios, 29, started to drive.
Deputies said the father wasn’t driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Tragic Backover Accidents
Thousands of children die every year or get badly injured as drivers backing up don’t notice them. In the United States, 50 children get backed over every week, according to Kids and Cars, an organization that advocates for injury control and child safety. The organization was created to protect children in and around motor vehicles on private properties.
“In over 70 percent of these unspeakable tragedies, a parent or the direct relative of the child is behind the wheel. There is an imminent need to change current behaviors and the attitudes of parents and caregivers about this fatal practice,” it said on its website.
Toddler in Serious Condition After Accidentally Being Run Over By Dad in New Jersey: Police https://t.co/YmWUF7yiIK
— devils35 (@bocaraton123456) February 5, 2019
The organization has documented 42 cases of backover tragedies and six near misses.
According to the organization, on March 31, 2014, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) “issued an auto safety standard to improve vehicles’ rear visibility and prevent deaths that occur when drivers back into people whom they cannot see.”
10 Ways to Prevent Backover Accidents
Here are ten ways to prevent backover accidents, according to Kansas City Accident Injury Attorneys:
- Installing a rear-view camera, sensors, and additional mirrors that can be added on any vehicle and using them in addition to looking around the vehicle before backing up.
- Always walking around and behind a vehicle before moving it.
- Knowing where your children are before backing up and having an adult supervise them while you are moving your vehicle.
- Making sure children always hold hands with an adult in a parking lot.
- Teaching your children that a parked vehicle might move and making them understand that the driver may not be able to see them.
- Teaching your children to never play behind a parked vehicle or in a driveway.
- If an adult passenger is in the vehicle, have him get out of the vehicle and watch for children while you back up.
- Roll down your window before backing up to hear children that could be near you.
- Teach your children to keep toys, bikes, and sports equipment out of the driveway.
- Keep landscaping around the driveway trimmed to ensure drivers can see the sidewalk, street, and any pedestrians while backing up.