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Tragic Accident Turns Deadly

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Over 100 kids are killed in backover accidents a year.

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Yesterday, the 5-year-old daughter of gospel singer Steven Curtis Chapman was killed in a backover accident in her driveway. Apparently, one of Steven's teenage sons backed up in his SUV and did not see little Maria there behind him. What a horrific tragedy.

According to the safety advocacy group Kids and Cars, over 2400 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms every year due a child being struck by or rolled over by a vehicle moving in reverse; at least two are fatally injured each and every week. (This is often known as the "bye bye syndrome" -- because kids saying "goodbye" to a relative as they leave are often run over.) Over 60% of backover incidents involve a larger size vehicle, such as a truck, van or SUV, like the one Chapman's son was driving.

Kids and Cars' recommendations to keep children safe include:

• Walk around and behind a vehicle prior to moving it.

• Know where your kids are. Make children move away from your vehicle to a place where they are in full view before moving the car and know that another adult is properly supervising children before moving your vehicle.

• Teach children that "parked" vehicles might move. Let them know that they can see the vehicle; but the driver might not be able to see them.

• Consider installing cross view mirrors, audible collision detectors, rear view video camera and/or some type of back up detection device.

• Measure the size of your blind spot behind the vehicle(s) you drive. A 5-foot-1-inch driver in a pickup truck can have a rear blind zone of approximately 8 feet wide by 50 feet long.

• Be aware that steep inclines and large SUVs, vans and trucks add to the difficulty of seeing behind a vehicle.

• Hold children's hand when leaving the vehicle.

• Teach your children to never play in, around or behind a vehicle, and always set the emergency brake.

• Keep toys and other sports equipment off the driveway.

• Trim landscaping around the driveway to ensure they can see the sidewalk, street and pedestrians clearly when backing out of their driveway. Pedestrians also need to be able to see a vehicle pulling out of the driveway.

• Never leave children alone in or around cars; not even for a minute.

• Keep vehicles locked at all times; even in the garage or driveway and always set your parking brake.

• Keys and/or remote openers should never be left within reach of children.

• Make sure all child passengers have left the car after it is parked.

• Be especially careful about keeping children safe in and around cars during busy times, schedule changes and periods of crisis or holidays.

Our thoughts go out to the Chapman family in this difficult time.


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33 comments so far | Post a comment now
Heather May 24, 2008, 10:31 PM

I am utterly heartbroken over your loss. I will pray that God will bring your family closer as a result of this horrible tragedy. Please help your son as much as you can. The guilt he must feel is all-consuming. IF YOU’RE READING THIS: IT WAS TRAGGIC ACCIDENT. IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULt! Love and prayer are with you.

Marilyn May 24, 2008, 11:03 PM

My prayers are with you and your family.

Maria May 29, 2008, 11:06 AM

Daddy please don’t look so sad; Mama, please don’t cry, ‘Cause I am in the arms of Jesus and He sings me lullabies. Please try not to question God, don’t think He is unkind. Don’t think He sent me to you and then He changed His mind. You see I am a special child, and I am needed up above. I am the precious gift you gave Him; the product of your love. I will always be there with you, please watch the sky at night. When you find the brightest star that is gleaming, that’s my halo’s brilliant light. You will see me in the morning frost that mists your windowpane. You will see me in the summer showers, I’ll be dancing in the rain. When you feel a little breeze, from the gentle wind that blows; that’s when you’ll know it’s me there, planting a kiss on your nose. When you see a child playing, and your heart feels a little tug, just know that I am there, giving you a hug. So, Daddy please don’t look so sad; Mama, please don’t you cry-For I am in the arms of Jesus and He sings me lullabies.

Maria May 29, 2008, 11:07 AM

Daddy please don’t look so sad; Mama, please don’t cry, ‘Cause I am in the arms of Jesus and He sings me lullabies. Please try not to question God, don’t think He is unkind. Don’t think He sent me to you and then He changed His mind. You see I am a special child, and I am needed up above. I am the precious gift you gave Him; the product of your love. I will always be there with you, please watch the sky at night. When you find the brightest star that is gleaming, that’s my halo’s brilliant light. You will see me in the morning frost that mists your windowpane. You will see me in the summer showers, I’ll be dancing in the rain. When you feel a little breeze, from the gentle wind that blows; that’s when you’ll know it’s me there, planting a kiss on your nose. When you see a child playing, and your heart feels a little tug, just know that I am there, giving you a hug. So, Daddy please don’t look so sad; Mama, please don’t you cry-For I am in the arms of Jesus and He sings me lullabies.

confused July 4, 2008, 11:37 AM

Prayer wont help him deal with the accident. Be realistic.

He needs real therapy. He killed his sister, and will need to deal with the inevitable guilt he’s feeling.

Poor family.

Anonymous August 24, 2008, 4:07 AM

Prayer works miracles for the believer.

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