Vehicle strikes, kills Floyd County toddler: How to prevent such tragedies

A Floyd County family is mourning after a family friend backed over a 15-month-old Thursday, killing the toddler. It is something that sadly happens more often than people realize nationwide.

Floyd County Police responded to the scene around 5:30 Thursday evening. Officers found the child unresponsive. Police say the mother of the child was babysitting for a friend. That friend accidentally struck the toddler when she put the vehicle in which she was driving in reverse. Neither knew the young child was behind the vehicle.

According to the organization Kids and Car Safety, at least 50 children across the country are backed over every week because the driver could not see them.

"Every single child fatality that comes across our desk is just as devastating as the last," Amber Rollins, Director of Kids and Car Safety, said.

"These cases are so predictable. Most of the time it's about that 18-month-old age group. They've just really started walking and getting around on their own, and yet, they still fall into this category of completely unable to comprehend danger. They don't have the cognitive ability to understand consequences yet," Rollins explained.

Rollins says one important safety measure is the backup camera. Her organization was part of the push for a federal law requiring backup cameras on all new cars, which went into effect in 2018.

"Install that backup camera on your vehicle. Now that they come standard on all vehicles, the price on the aftermarket ones have gone down drastically," Rollins said.

Rollins also said installing alarms and child locks on doors is key to in ensuring a child does not get out without a parent's knowledge.

"The period of time when people are coming or going from the home is a very high-risk time, so families should childproof their home," Rollins explained. 

"They're quick. These tragedies always happen so quickly. That's what parents always tell us, ‘They were just there and then they weren't,’" she added.

Floyd County Police say charges are not expected to be filed in the 15-month-old's death.