An 18-month-old Barrington-area boy was killed Tuesday when accidentally run over in the family’s driveway by a pickup truck driven by his father, authorities said.
The accident occurred Tuesday evening on the 25600 block of West Drake Road, as the toddler’s father backed the truck out of the driveway, Lake County sheriff’s police said.
At the time his father got into the truck, the boy was outside with his mother and siblings about 50 feet away from the vehicle, according to the sheriff’s office.
Just before his father began backing down the driveway, the toddler ran toward the pickup, which nobody saw, authorities said. As the father turned the pickup so he could pull forward out of the driveway, one of the front tires rolled over the toddler, sheriff’s police said.
The boy’s parents rushed him to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital near North Barrington, where he died. The Lake County coroner’s office on Wednesday identified him as Sebastian Kusnir of Barrington and said he died as a result of multiple injuries suffered in the accident.
The crash remains under investigation by the Lake County sheriff’s office Technical Crash Investigations Team and the coroner’s office, however, “this preliminarily appears to be a tragic accident,” sheriff’s police said.
According to the safety organization Kids and Cars, 50 children are backed over every week by a driver who could not see them. From 2015 to 2019, 211 children under the age of 14 were killed in such crashes, known as “backovers,” and the predominant age of victims is 12 to 23 months old, according to Kids and Cars.
More than 60% of backovers involve larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs, and the driver is a parent or close relative more than 70% of the time, the organization reports.
According to Kids and Cars, children do not understand the danger of a slowly moving vehicle. They believe if they see the vehicle, the driver can see them.
Among its tips for keeping kids safe:
• Create habits to ensure children are directly supervised every time someone is arriving or leaving the home.
• Walk completely around your vehicle, scanning for children and pets before moving a vehicle.
• If you need to move a vehicle without another adult present, make children move to a place where you can clearly see them or put them in the car with you before moving the car.
• Turn off the radio and roll down the driver’s-side window when backing so you can listen for children or if someone is warning you to stop.
• Never allow young children to walk through parking lots. Young children should always be carried or placed in a stroller or shopping cart in parking lots. Even holding hands cannot prevent a child from darting away.
• Do not allow children to play in driveways, cul-de-sacs or parking lots unsupervised.
• Trim landscaping around the driveway to ensure drivers can see the sidewalk, street and pedestrians clearly when backing out.
Parents are advised to talk with their children about vehicle dangers, including discussing signs that a vehicle might move: a running engine, reverse lights and brake lights, or smoke coming from the exhaust pipe. Children should be instructed to never walk behind or in front of a running vehicle.