FAIRFAX, Va. — The mother of a 2-year-old boy who died after being hit by his dad's truck in the driveway is reminding parents to be hyperaware.
Kelly Castillo said her husband was backing his truck out of the driveway on Roma Street in Fairfax Monday night when he hit their son, Bairon Alexander Castillo.
Kelly Castillo said the family was visiting her in-laws when her son was hit just before 7 p.m. She and her sister-in-law were inside the home when they heard screams outside.
"I saw through the window my baby on the floor and when I saw my baby on the floor, I didn't know what to do," Kelly Castillo said. "It's too hard for me."
Kelly Castillo said her husband didn't realize their son was in the way. Her 4-year-old daughter saw what happened.
"She saw the whole scene and last night, she couldn't even go to sleep because her body would shake," she said.
Family and friends spent the next day visiting the home and creating a memorial made up of flowers, candles, balloons and toys. Among the items on the display was a toy car Bairon Alexander Castillo was holding when he was struck.
The family hopes this tragic accident can serve as a reminder for all parents.
"Always be with your child, holding their hands, lock the doors so they don't come out," she said. "Even if they're playing outside always be looking over them."
Fairfax County detectives from the Crash Reconstruction Unit continue to investigate the incident that led to the crash. Police said they do not suspect foul play and have ruled out alcohol as a factor.
The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help raise money for funeral expenses.
Also known as a backover accident, national data shows at least 50 children are backed over by vehicles every week in this country. More than 60% of backing up incidents involved a larger vehicle, such as a truck, van or SUV. In over 70% of these incidents, a parent or close relative is behind the wheel, according to Kids and Cars.
As of May 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) ruled that all new vehicles be equipped with rear visibility technology.
There are steps parents can take to protect their children, per State Farm:
- Discourage kids from playing in driveways or around parked vehicles.
- Trim landscaping around driveways and sidewalks to increase visibility.
- Talk to children about safety around parked cars. Keep your eye out for dangers and hold little ones' hands
- Walk around your vehicle and scan for hazards before backing out. Ask any kids nearby to stand a safe distance from the vehicle.
- Turn the radio off and roll down windows to better see and hear your surroundings. Back out slowly and cautiously, and always check your mirrors.
- Clean your vehicle’s backup camera regularly to remove built-up road grime and snow.