Although the boy was immediately rushed to the hospital in critical condition, he succumbed to his injuries overnight.
In what the police described as a "tragic situation," an Oklahoma father accidentally ran over his young son at their home earlier this week. Tulsa Police Department said in a statement posted to Facebook Wednesday that officers were called out to an "auto/pedestrian accident" near 1200 N. Darlington Ave around 10 p.m. on Tuesday. "Officers arrived and learned that a man accidentally ran over his 2-year-old son with his Dodge pickup while trying to park in the driveway," the statement reveals. "The family said they arrived home from the grocery store and parked the truck out front."
"The dad opened the front door of the house, and the mom got out of the truck with the toddler. The woman told her husband they would not be leaving the house again that evening. The woman started walking toward the house with her son," the police added. However, unbeknownst to his parents, the 2-year-old then reportedly "ran back toward" the vehicle. "The dad went to pull the truck in the driveway and felt a bump. He got out and learned that the 2-year-old boy ran back toward the truck, and he had run over him with the right rear wheel," the statement reads.
TODDLER HIT: A toddler is in critical condition this morning after his father accidentally ran him over. https://t.co/E0oIx8ffu6— NewsChannel 8 | KTUL (@KTULNews) April 13, 2022
Although the boy was immediately rushed to the hospital in critical condition, he succumbed to his injuries overnight. The family has not been publicly identified. "This is a tragic situation for everyone involved," police said in their statement, noting that "at this time, no charges are being filed." Speaking to CBS affiliate KOTV-DT, Lt. Steven Florea said: "This isn't the first one like this, unfortunately. This is something that happens and it's just very important that anytime you have children, that you're aware of where they are at all time, especially when you're around a moving vehicle or anything like that."
Backover incidents can happen when you least expect them. When reversing, remember:— nhtsagov (@NHTSAgov) March 31, 2021
🧒 Be aware of small children, they can move unexpectedly
🪞 Actively check your mirrors
👁️ Look behind you while backing up slowly
🚗 Roll down your windows so you can hear outside your vehicle pic.twitter.com/cBpx5mfxPX
As Florea, such accidents unfortunately occur far too many often in the country. In June last year, a Virginia family suffered a similar tragedy when their 2-year-old was struck as his father backed his truck out of the driveway. Speaking to Telemundo 44 through tears, the toddler's father, Byrol Zapata, said that he had put his son inside and told him to stay inside. "He said, 'OK, Daddy.' But I didn't realize when he came out again," the father said in Spanish while sobbing inconsolably. "When the truck accident happened it was too late." According to the non-profit Kids and Cars, at least 50 children are backed over by a vehicle every week in the U.S. More than 60% of such backing up incidents involve a larger-size vehicle. The safety group shared the following recommendations on its website to prevent accidental backovers:
1. Use rearview cameras and sensors on your vehicle.
2. Keep home doors locked and install locks at the top of doors in your home so children cannot get outside on their own.
3. Create habits to ensure children are directly supervised every time someone is arriving or leaving the home.
4. Walk completely around your vehicle scanning the area for children and pets prior to moving a vehicle.
5. Do not allow children to play in driveways, cul‐de‐sacs or parking lots unsupervised.
6. Roll down the driver’s side window when backing so you can hear if someone is warning you to stop.
7. Trim landscaping around the driveway to ensure drivers can see the sidewalk, street and pedestrians clearly when backing out of their driveway.
8. Be especially careful about keeping children safe in and around cars during busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis or holidays.