22-Month-Old Killed by SUV Is a Heartbreaking Wake-Up Call for All! Do you always look for small children when you back up?
It's a story that has played out in my nightmares countless times, and now for two families, it's their horrifying reality. It happened this weekend in a high school parking lot during a softball game in Titusville, Florida, not far from where I live.
According to a story in USA Today, 22-month-old Brady Hutto went with his mother to get something out of their car, and somehow he wandered away from her. She saw an SUV backing up toward him, and she screamed. It was too late.
Brady was run over, and while someone nearby tried to perform CPR, the boy was pronounced dead when he arrived at the hospital. Titusville Police Maj. Todd Hutchinson told the paper:
She witnessed the car backing over her child. She yelled to get the driver's attention, but by then it was too late. The most serious injury was trauma to the chest.
I gasped out loud when I read the story, because I can see how easily it could happen at the baseball games I attend with my toddler daughter several nights a week. There I am trying to keep an eye on her and watch her brother's game. There's a good play, and I get distracted for just a second, and ... the parking lot is right there. It hits too close to home to be unfathomable.
However, as much as I ache for Brady's family, who will never hold their little boy again, never see him grow up to play his own high school sports games, I also mourn for the woman who was in the SUV that ran him over.
Her name is Pam Bodenheimer. The 51-year-old is the wife of the town's police chief, and her daughter plays on the softball team with Brady's sister. She was reportedly friends with Brady's mother. There's no indication alcohol was involved; it appears to be nothing but a horrific accident. An accident that could happen to any of us in a hurry, racing off to get a forgotten glove, or to make it to another child's event.
We glance; we assume; we go. Kids are so small, it's almost impossible to see them in your rear-view mirror, and if you don't have a toddler yourself, you're often not in the mindset of thinking one could be behind you. It's why I'll never own a car without a backup camera, and even that, I know, is no guarantee.
Brady's is a story that every parent should know and share, because we all can use a reminder. We need to remember no matter where we are to always give that extra glance behind us, to slow down, and, of course, to do everything we can to know where our toddlers are at all times.
Do you always look for small children when you back up?