A tragic car accident occurred in a residential driveway in Laurel, Maryland, in late March. A mother pulled into the driveway of a babysitter to drop her children off shortly before 9 a.m. When she got out of the car, the vehicle began rolling backward down the driveway where the woman's young son was standing. Running to get him out of the path of the car, she was struck by the open driver's door and fell underneath the vehicle. Her 3-month-old daughter was still in her arms when the car rolled over all three of them.
A near-by neighbor heard the mother's screams and came quickly outside. He reportedly yelled to another bystander to call for emergency services while he went to work performing CPR on the little girl. The mother never let the baby girl out of her arms, but it was reported that there was nothing that could be done to save her. The young boy was apparently able to walk around while attempts were being made to save the baby.
The Laurel residential driveway is said to be only very slightly inclined, but accident-recreation-specialists determined that the car would have gained considerable speed while rolling backward.
Authorities presently believe that the mother left the vehicle's transmission in gear when she exited the vehicle. However, similar accidents in the past have been caused by vehicle defects that allow a parked vehicle to slip back into gear and move unexpectedly. The accident is still under investigation as to what caused the accident and whether any charges will be pressed as a result of the tragedy.
Source: Washington Post, "Maryland infant killed by car left in gear in driveway," Matt Zapotosky, 3/25/2011