Bloomington toddler dies after being run over
March 17, 2017 at 12:03 p.m.
Updated March 18, 2017 at 6 a.m.
A toddler was killed late Thursday when he was accidentally run over by a vehicle outside a Bloomington home, officials said Friday.
Sgt. Ruben San Miguel, of the Department of Public Safety, said the accident occurred just after 11 p.m. at a Bloomington residence.
A 15-year-old unlicensed driver was moving a 2006 GMC Sierra pickup when she backed over the 2-year-old boy.
The boy’s family rushed him in a private vehicle to DeTar Hospital Navarro, where he was pronounced dead at 11:41 p.m., San Miguel said.
Theresa Martinez, a Bloomington resident, said the boy is Bentley Baladez, son of Consuelo “Cookie” Baladez. Martinez is a friend of the family and created a GoFundMe account Friday to help the Baladez family with funeral expenses.
Martinez, who spoke on behalf of the Baladez family, thanked the community for its sympathy and their support. Martinez thanked those who have donated to the GoFundMe account, adding that another fundraiser could be possible if the GoFundMe account does not generate enough funds.
“They need the prayers to continue, especially the children who witnessed the accident,” Martinez said.
Janette Fennell, the president and founder of KidsAndCars.org, a website dedicated to informing the public about nontraffic vehicle incidents, said at least 50 children are backed over by vehicles every week. Statistically, she said, two children will die every week from backovers.
“People think they can see behind their vehicle, but they can’t,” Fennell said.
She said vehicles have areas in the front and the back that are more blind zones than blind spots. The blind zone for a truck could be as far back as 23 feet for someone who is 5 feet, 8 inches tall and even more for a shorter driver. More than 60 percent of backovers involve a larger vehicle, such as a truck, van, or sport utility vehicle, she said.
“It is impossible to see behind your vehicle unless you have a camera,” Fennell said, adding that a camera can be retrofitted to any vehicle. Fennell said she hopes tragedies such as the one in Bloomington can be prevented more in the future now that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will require all new vehicles to have backup cameras by May 2018.