The child was rushed to a hospital where she succumbed to head injuries after she was struck by her mother's SUV.
A 10-month-old child died after she fell off a car and was struck by the vehicle.
The Prince William County Police Department in Virginia announced the incident on Twitter. They said that investigation is underway for a "fatal crash" that happened on Flotilla Way in Woodbridge, Virginia on June 12 at approximately 1:15 p.m.
According to a police announcement issued Monday morning, a 35-year-old woman from Hyattsville, Maryland, was visiting family, reports PEOPLE. She put her 10-month-old daughter in the backseat unrestrained before driving a short distance to a local dumpster when she left in a 2013 Toyota Highlander. The mother then returned home to pick up more family members.
*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: #PWCPD Crash Investigators investigated a #fatal crash that occurred on Flotilla Way in #Woodbridge on Jun. 12 at approx. 1:15pm. a 10-month-old girl was killed when she fell from a vehicle and was struck. More info; pic.twitter.com/RM5FgmYG2e— Prince William County Police Department (@PWCPolice) June 13, 2022
The girl fell out of the SUV as a family member unlocked the rear door. The woman climbed out of the driver's seat to check on her child at that moment, but police claim she left the car in drive. The vehicle rolled forward and collided with the toddler, causing significant head injuries. The press release states, "The vehicle's transmission was still in drive when the driver exited the vehicle causing it to roll forward where it then struck the child."
Police were summoned when her mother took the child to the hospital. Officers stated, "The child died later of the day as a result of her injuries." The identities of both the child and the mother are being concealed as of now and no charges have been filed.
TRAGIC | Police said the mother got out of the car to check on the child, but the vehicle was still in drive when she got out, causing it to roll forward.https://t.co/E8ecWpqn6T— KATU News (@KATUNews) June 14, 2022
This incident makes it more important for parents to always keep their infants and toddlers secured and strapped in a car seat to avoid any possibilities of accidents. According to a report published in the National Library of Medicine, when compared to seat belts or no restraints, proper car seat for children reduces the risk of injury, hospitalization, or death by more than 70%.
Some states in the US demand that a child's car seat be federally certified. Virginia law requires children to travel in a rear-facing safety seat until they meet the minimum weight requirement for a forward-facing safety seat as specified by the manufacturer. The website of the Virginia Department of Health states, "The Child Passenger Safety Program promotes proper safety seat use for children until they transition to the vehicle safety belt (from birth through nine to twelve years of age)."
It further reads, "Our goal is to increase risk awareness and correct safety seat usage through outreach and education."
The investigation is still going on into the death of the 10-month-old due to negligence of safety protocols. No further details of the incident have been revealed yet.
Representative Image Source: Getty Images/fcafotodigital