Parents with seven children in Florida lost two toddlers within a month. A 3-year-old was accidentally run over and killed by his father and less than a month later a 1-year-old drowned in a family swimming pool.
The father accidentally ran over his 3-year-old son with the family SUV at a Waffle House parking lot in Brandon on March 12.
The accident inflicted severe head injuries on the child 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.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said at about 9:45 p.m. the front right tire of the Tahoe hit the toddler as his father, Guillermo Junior Montoya Rios, 29, started to drive.
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
The incident report mentions that the family generally does a headcount of their seven children whenever they travel in a vehicle together but that day it was not done.
Deputies said the father wasn’t driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The death was considered an accident and Rios’s name was cleared by the Sheriff’s office.
The family met another tragic loss when their youngest 1-year-old son accidentally drowned in a swimming pool in his maternal grandparents home on April 5, the Tampa Bay Times quoted the Florida Department of Children and Families incident report.
The family, with their six children aged 1-11, was at their grandparent’s home in Hillsborough County for a holiday. The mother and her children were present at the house when the drowning happened.
I can’t imagine how devastating this must be for this family. Hug your kids tight when you get home tonight.https://t.co/64Icysl6dX
— Chris Tisch (@christisch1) April 26, 2019
On the afternoon of the tragic incident, the two oldest children were playing at the swimming pool while the younger ones were playing with a water hose near the house, reported the Tampa Bay Times. At about 7 p.m., everyone except the youngest child came inside the house to change into dry clothes.
Shortly after, the mother found him unresponsive in the pool. The family gave him CPR before the paramedics arrived but he was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The child’s heart had stopped beating before the paramedics arrived. Surveillance footage showed him walking on the pool’s deck and then jumping or falling into the water.
The deaths of the two sons are being investigated by the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office. The investigations are undergoing and the Department of Children and Families declined to comment to the media.
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.
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.”
Fatal Child Drowning Incidents
Florida and Texas each experienced 40 fatal child drowning cases, California 29, Arizona 24, and Georgia 14 in 2016, according to poolsafety.gov
500 children drown annually in home swimming pools. Plz. check http://www.poolsafety.gov/ & http://tinyurl.com/lb4rt5 to protect your child.
— Pool Safety Activist (@SafetyTurtleUSA) July 11, 2009
The website lists organizations working to stop these tragic losses. These family foundations can be contacted for help and information:
Abby Grace’s Hope in Auburndale, Florida.
Colin’s Hope in Austin, Texas.
G.I.L.L.S. in Atlanta, Georgia.