Toddler falling out of SUV '100 percent avoidable' - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Toddler falling out of SUV '100 percent avoidable'

A 2-year-old was severely injured after falling from a moving SUV late Sunday. (FOX5) A 2-year-old was severely injured after falling from a moving SUV late Sunday. (FOX5)

A 2-year-old boy is being treated for a broken leg and other severe injuries after he fell out of a moving SUV and then was hit by a car Sunday night near Russell and Mountain Vista. Police said the boy's mother didn't properly restrain him in a car seat.

Police said the accident could have easily been avoided if the mother buckled up her child in a car seat.

The case is still under investigation, but the executive director from the nonprofit Safe Kids Clark County said from her experience, the mother will likely get a citation, need to pay a fine and go to a safety class.

"It's terrible," said Rebecca Wood, who is a mother to a 2-year-old boy. "I can't imagine something like that happening to my son. It's heartbreaking."

Police said the mother put her child and two bikes in the back of a SUV. The hatchback wasn't completely shut. As the car drove off, the boy and bikes fell out. As the son ran back towards his mom, a car struck him. The boy was taken to Sunrise Trauma with serious injuries, including a broken femur.

"We have to thank God the child wasn't killed because it really is a miracle he wasn't killed when he was struck by a vehicle," said Jeanne Marsala, who is the executive director for Safe Kids Clark County.

Marsala said the biggest excuse she hears from parents who don't buckle up their children is that home is around the corner.

Marsala said statistics show most crashes happen within a three-mile radius from home.

"When we see those preventable injuries happening to a poor helpless child, it's very frustrating," said Marsala.

State law requires children to be in car seats until they're 6 years old and weigh more than 60 pounds. Industry experts recommend car seats for any child younger than 8 years old who weigh less than 80 pounds.

Wood calls the accident an eye opener to slow down and put kids first every time and every ride.

"They are very lucky," said Wood. "I can't imagine if something like that would happen to my child."

The nonprofit wants to remind parents it takes two seconds to buckle up a child in a car seat.

According to the latest report from the Clark County Child Death Review Team, car crashes rank in the top three among the leading causes of death for children in Clark County.

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