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18-Month-Old Child Dies After Being Struck by Car, Mother Charged

By Paula Liu

An 18-year-old Houston, Texas mother was charged after her 18-month-old son was killed in an apartment complex parking lot on Aug. 14, according to multiple reports.

Gissel Vasquez was walking in the parking lot of the Big Red Apartments in the 6300 block of Tierwester carrying her 2-month-old baby.  Unknowingly, Vasquez’s 18 month old son was following his mother and sister.  The young boy had fallen behind and was struck by a car, according to Houston Chronicle.

Right before the 18-month-old was struck, Vasquez had walked into the apartment and closed the door behind her, leaving the toddler outside, along with the toddler’s cousin, prosecutors said during a trial on Aug. 15, Houston Chronicle reported. Both the toddler and the toddler’s cousin were around the same age.

The driver of the car hit the 18-month-old boy, then drove away, according to police, ABC 7 reported. After being struck, the 18-month-old was unconscious, lying on the ground on the parking lot.

Vasquez told police officers who arrived on the scene that it was after she realized her older son was not following her she went outside, Houston Chronicle reported. She ran to him and tried to save him, but the 18-month-old did not respond to be resuscitation, according to police. ABC 7 reported the police pronounced the 18-month-old dead on the scene.

Salam Zia, the Houston Police Department Commander, was present at the scene on Aug. 14 and said that he understood the pain that the mother was feeling, according to the Houston Chronicle.

“Anytime we lose a child or anyone in the community, we feel that,” Zia said. He suggested that people should keep their children close to them, and always know where they are.

“Keep kids close to you. Know where they’re at, watch them, don’t leave them by themselves,” Zia said. “Kids will be kids.”

The driver who struck the 18-month-old returned to the scene, and officers immediately issued her a field sobriety test, which was standard after fatal car incidents involving deaths, according to the Houston Chronicle. Police were not sure whether the driver knew that she had struck the 18-month-old while she was driving during the incident.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the driver of the vehicle that struck the 18-month-old was not charged.

According to ABC 7, police would be reconstructing the incident to determine whether or not the 18-month-old toddler was in the driver’s blind spot.

During a court hearing on the morning of Aug. 15, Vasquez, who was present at the hearing, broke into tears while the prosecutor described the incident, including the details of her son’s death. She was arrested on felony child endangerment charges.

Child Accidentally Killed by Father’s Car

A young child was hit and killed after she was run over by her father’s car when it was accidentally placed in reverse by her 4-year-old sibling, according to reports.

Police said the incident happened in the 6300 block of Logan Creek near Sugar Land, Texas, on May 21.

The children’s father had placed the 3-year-old and 4-year-old into the car before he ran back into the garage to quickly grab something. He had turned on the car in order to have the air conditioning while the two children waited, reported Click 2 Houston.

While waiting, the 3-year-old managed to get out of the car, while the 4-year-old climbed into the front of the car. When climbing into the front, the 4-year-old accident bumped the gear stick putting the car into reverse.

The car then rolled back and hit the 3-year-old. CPR was performed on the 3-year-old but she had succumbed to her injuries, police said, reported KHOU 11.

“It’s a horrible incident for the family, the neighborhood out here, for the community,” a deputy told the news website.

The identity of the child has not yet been released.

NTD Staff Writer Janita Kan contributed to this report.