Emma’s Story: Car Back-overs

EmmaEmma was only two when she passed. She had been watched by a close family member since she was one year old while my husband and I both worked.

It was extremely cold the day of her accident. She was left inside with instructions to wait, while my relative went outside to warm up the vehicle and move it closer so they could be at my house in time to pick up my oldest daughter from school.

Emma didn’t know how to open doors, especially the one to the garage. It is likely that the garage door did not get closed completely. She walked outside and was never seen due to blind spot of the vehicle. It was only after my family member got out of the car that he saw her lying in the driveway. As he got closer he noticed she was not moving or responding. When he saw the blood he realized something was awfully wrong.

My phone was dead at work and any attempt to reach me was unsuccessful. Emma was rushed to the ER where they made every effort to revive her. As I got home I got the news from my brother-in-law who said that “Emma was hit by a car and she might not make it. They are at the emergency room right now.” He did not give me details but that is when my life changed forever. My outlook on life changed as well. I had hoped that because she was being life-flighted to a larger hospital for care she would make it. I was waiting for them to tell me when they were going to transport her, but once the helicopter arrived they could not get a pulse back on her. I sat with her for a while but my baby girl was gone.

The first few months were the hardest as I somehow felt that if I had done just one thing different that day I would still have my baby. I replayed it over and over in my head thinking of how I could have changed the outcome by maybe calling in to work that day or maybe leaving work early. But reality eventually sank in and I started to learn to accept it and think of it as if there was a reason for what happened and that someday I would understand. I think and talk about her often but not so much of the fact that she is gone.

Emma passed on January 12th 2015 at only 2 years old. She will be loved and missed eternally.

This story was shared by Emma’s mother to help drive awareness for child safety and help save other lives as way to honor the loving memory of Sweet Emma.

Car Back-overs: Many children are killed or seriously injured in back-over incidents. A back-over incident typically occurs when a vehicle coming out of a driveway or parking space backs over an unattended child because the driver did not see him or her.

car backovers

Prevention Tips

  • Teach children not to play in or around cars.
  • Supervise children carefully when in and around vehicles.
  • Always walk around your vehicle and check the area around it before backing up.
  • Be aware of small children-the smaller a child, the more likely it is you will not see them.
  • Teach children to move away from a vehicle when a driver gets in it or if the car is started.
  • Have children in the area stand to the side of the driveway or sidewalk so you can see them as you are backing out of a driveway or parking space.
  • Make sure to look behind you while backing up slowly in case a child dashes behind your vehicle unexpectedly.
  • Take extra care if you drive a large vehicle because they are likely to have bigger blind zones. Roll down your windows while backing out of your driveway or parking space so that you’ll be able to hear what is happening outside of your vehicle.
  • Teach your children to keep their toys and bikes out of the driveway.
  • Because kids can move unpredictably, you should actively check your mirrors while backing up.
  • Many cars are equipped with detection devices like backup cameras or warning sounds, but they cannot take the place of you actively walking around your car to make sure your children are safely out of the way. Do not rely solely on these devices to detect what’s behind your vehicle.

For more information visit: http://www.nhtsa.gov/