Awareness raised for child 'backover' deaths after Va. toddler killed by dad backing truck out of driveway

backover accidents.JPG
Posted at 5:09 PM, Jun 09, 2021

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - A Virginia toddler is one of the latest victims of a backover accident.

The common incident happens when a driver is backing out of a driveway or parking space and hits a child.

Two-year-old Bairon Alexander Castillo died in Fairfax after being hit by his dad’s truck as it backed out of the driveway Monday night, according to WUSA9.

“This happens to attentive, loving, responsible parents. You know, the reality is that toddlers are very quick,” said Kids and Car Safety Director Amber Rollins.

Deadly backovers happen in Hampton Roads, too.

News 3 told reported about a Virginia Beach 8-year-old riding a Big Wheel who died in 2014 when a neighbor backed out his driveway and killed the child.

Tragedy struck again in Gloucester County when a 5-year-old was killed in 2018 as a truck backed into the driveway.

These accidents are so common there’s a term to describe them: Bye-Bye Syndrome.

“[Children] want to say ‘bye-bye,’ and they sneak out the front door. A lot of times, those 1- to 2-year-olds, the parents didn't even know the child could open that door and get out on their own,” said Rollins.

The Kids and Car Safety organization says there are things parents can do to reduce the risk: Purchasing a child proof doorknob cover, adding a door alarm that chimes anytime a door is open and adding a backup camera to a vehicle if it doesn’t already have one.

“If you don't have a backup camera on your vehicle, you can get one. You can purchase one aftermarket, and they're pretty inexpensive now that they come as standard equipment on all new vehicles,” said Rollins.

Experts say children age 5 and under are the most at risk of being backed over and warn you can’t avoid hitting someone that you cannot see.

“Every week, 50 backovers happen, and every week an additional 60 frontovers happen, so you know, that's 110 children every single week that are being run over in parking lots and driveways. This is a huge problem,” said Rollins.

The Kids and Car Safety organization encourages parents to let young children know that just because they see a car doesn’t mean the car can see them and explain the dangers of being near moving vehicles.