Madera Ranchos Child Run Over By Car

April 20, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Another "Driveway Death" has claimed the life of a Valley child.The latest accident occurred at a home in the Madera Ranchos.

Two year old Karen Cano toddled after her aunt and uncle as they left a family gathering . According to California Highway Patrol Officer Ronnie Lopez, they got into their pickup truck and didn't realize the toddler had followed them out to the driveway from the backyard.

" She entered the driveway through an open breezeway and ran directly in the path of the vehicle as it was backing up." Lopez said.

Despite a backup camera on the 2008 Toyota Tundra Pickup, the tiny girl was invisible to her uncle, who was driving. "The driver had no idea she was there, the vehicle had a backup camera but it was from the side, so he didn't see her."

The vehicle backed up only a few feet, before running over the child. She was dead at the scene.

Driveway deaths are an all too common problem in this country. The sad statistics are tracked by an organization called KidsandCars.org Founder Jannette Fennell talked with us by phone from her home in Kansas City.

"At least 50 children in the United States, every week are backed over." Fennel said. "Now 48 of those children end up in hospital emergency rooms, but at least two children lose their lives every week because they can't be seen behind a vehicle backing up."

Back-ups are the most common cause of death but Sunday in Mendota five year old Kevin Maya was killed, and his 3 year old sister Youllissa was critically injured when they were hit by their mothers car when it lurched forward in the driveway of the family home.

Fresno County Sheriff's Deputy, Jay Cutler was the investigating officer in the Mendota accident. Apparently she hit the gas pedal instead of the brake and as a result ran over her children." He said. "What's incredibly , incredibly tragic about these incidents in that in over 70 per cent of the cases it is a direct relative of that child who is now responsible for killing them." Janette Fennell said.

Fennell said these mishaps have a name, it's "Bye Bye Syndrome." It happens when a child runs after a family member for a goodbye hug or kiss, and ends up being run over.

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