Today’s local news brings three tragic stories to light on topics I have blogged about here in the past, and each one serves as a critical safety reminder for everyone.
Spot the Tot
Two-year-old Leonel Alvarado from Sandy died Sunday after he was run over by a pickup truck his father was moving in the driveway. Leonel was in the grass next to the driveway when his mother went inside to get keys to a car that was going to be moved along with the pickup. It appears that there was some misunderstanding between the parents as to who was watching Leonel while the vehicles were being moved.
Unfortunately, tots being run over in driveways is not uncommon. Statistics for Utah from Spot the Tot demonstrate this:
Each year in Utah, an average of 65 children under age 10 are struck or run over and 5 are killed by a motor vehicle on private property. Most vehicles involved in these incidents are traveling slowly, many moving in reverse.
Despite the low speed of vehicles in driveways, parking lots and other private property locations, the majority of children struck or run over suffer some type of serious injury and, in many cases, even death.
In Utah, from 1997 to 2005, 36 children under the age of 10 were killed when they were either hit or run over by a motor vehicle on private property. More than half the victims were struck or run over by a family member or relative.
In Utah and across the nation, the data show more children are falling victim each year. Of the 36 Utah deaths since 1997, 26 have occurred over the last 4 years (2002-2005).
These accidents and deaths can be prevented. Check the Spot the Tot information sheet for a full list of prevention tips, but always remember the most important one – walk completely around your vehicle before backing out of a driveway to make sure that no one or anything is in harm’s way.
A 28-year-old North Ogden man died yesterday after he was pulled underwater while floating on the Weber River. It is not yet clear whether the young man was wearing a life jacket but regardless, the incident reminds us all that life jackets are a critical part of any water recreation experience. Check out the U.S. Coast Guard site on personal flotation devices for all kinds of useful life jacket safety information – the site is geared toward boating safety but the same information applies to all water activities.
A 41-year-old Oakley man identified as Shane Bolinder died early yesterday when his SUV rolled off a Summit County highway. It appears that he missed a left curve in the pre-dawn hours and then overcorrected. Bolinder, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected and found dead when the accident was discovered approximately an hour after it happened. Seat belt use has been hammered into the public consciousness for years but if you need a refresher course on why they are mandatory, look here.
Bret Hanna of Wrona DuBois in Utah, focuses exclusively on litigating plaintiffs’ medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has represented clients in state and federal courts, in mediations, and in administrative proceedings in Michigan and Utah since 1991.