An 18-month-old boy died at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital after his father drove over him while backing out of the driveway Tuesday in unincorporated Barrington, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
The parents rushed the boy to the hospital where he was subsequently pronounced dead, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office said. An autopsy by the Lake County Coroner’s Office is scheduled for Wednesday morning.
The two agencies investigating, however, this “preliminarily appears to be a tragic accident,” the sheriff’s office said in a release.
A preliminary investigation shows the toddler’s father, a 48-year-old man who lives in unincorporated Barrington, entered his Chevrolet pickup truck, which was parked in his driveway while the toddler was outside in the vicinity of his mother and other siblings, according to the release.
The boy was standing about 50 feet away from the pickup truck when his father entered the pickup, according to the release. Just before the father began backing down the driveway the boy ran toward the pickup, which nobody saw.
The father began backing up and then turned the pickup, so he could pull forward out of the driveway, according to the release. This caused one of the front tires of the pickup to roll over the toddler.
The parents took the boy Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, which is where Lake County sheriff’s deputies responded about 6:35 p.m. Tuesday, according to the release.
According to the safety organization Kids and Cars, 50 children are backed over every week by a driver who could not see them. Between 2015-2019, 211 children under the age of 14 were killed in such crashes, known as “backovers,” and the predominant age of victims is between 12 and 23 months old, according to Kids and Cars.
More than 60% of backovers involve larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs, and the driver is a parent or close relative in more than 70% of the time, the organization reports.
According to Kids and Cars, children do not understand the danger of a slow moving vehicle. They believe if they see the vehicle, the driver can see them.
Among its tips for keeping kids safe:
• Create habits to ensure children are directly supervised every time someone is arriving or leaving the home.
• Walk completely around your vehicle, scanning for children and pets prior to moving a vehicle.
• If you need to move a vehicle without another adult present, make children move to a place where you can clearly see them or put them in the car with you before moving the car.
• Turn off the radio and roll down the driver’s side window when backing so you can listen for children or if someone is warning you to stop.
• Never allow young children to walk through parking lots. Young children should always be carried or placed in a stroller or shopping cart in parking lots. Even holding hands cannot prevent a child from darting away.
• Do not allow children to play in driveways, cul-de-sacs or parking lots unsupervised.
• Trim landscaping around the driveway to ensure drivers can see the sidewalk, street and pedestrians clearly when backing out.
Parents are advised to talk with their children about vehicle dangers, including discussing signs that a vehicle might move: a running engine, reverse lights and brake lights, or smoke coming from the exhaust pipe. Children should be instructed to never walk behind or in front of a running vehicle.
Source: The Daily Chronicle