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4-year-old recovering after being run over by family car

Posted May 19, 2009

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— A 4-year-old girl has been released from the hospital after being run over by her mother's car in the family driveway.

Brandy Watts had parked her 1985 Pontiac Parisien in the driveway Saturday morning to run inside her home and ask her husband to join her for breakfast. She left the engine running, the driver's door open and her two children strapped in their car seats.

Angel Watts, girl run over by mother's car 'The car ran me over'

Angel Watts unbuckled herself and, as she tried to climb into the driver's seat, she knocked the car into reverse. When the car began moving, the scared girl jumped out.

"The car ran me over," Angel said Tuesday. "I was laying on the ground."

A front wheel ran over her as the Parisien continued in reverse toward Swanns Station Road with Angel's 9-month-old brother still in his car seat. The car eventually hit a pine tree at the end of the driveway.

"It took maybe about a minute, and there was a 'bam,'" Brandy Watts said.

She and her husband, Robin, ran outside.

"I (saw) her on the ground, (and) my heart hit the ground," Robin Watts said. "She wasn't breathing. She took her first breath, and I was like, 'Hold on, baby!' We rushed her to the hospital as fast as we could."

The Wattses drove Angel to Central Carolina Hospital in Sanford, and the girl was airlifted to UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.

"I was already crying, and I started crying more because I thought something was terribly wrong," Brandy Watts said.

Angel suffered three broken ribs, a punctured lung and other internal injuries. She spent the weekend in the hospital and was released on Monday.

"I don't know how she's still here. God was with her," Brandy Watts said.

Lee County deputies ruled the incident an accident and said no charges would be filed.

A bill pending in the state Senate would make it a misdemeanor to leave a child unattended in a running car.


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  • JustOneGodLessThanU May 21, 2009

    Once again, people can comment about how "god protected someone", but I cannot comment on how he did not. Double-standard garb...

  • missdawg May 20, 2009

    "Parents please turned off your motor regardless how long you will be at a certain place." Professor

    Professor, it seems that you may need a lesson on how an automatic transmission functions. Unless the car is on a COMPLETELY flat surface, the car will roll when put into any gear other than Park. This accident could have occurred even if the car wasn't running. The answer to this problem is to never leave children in a car unattended.

  • familyfour May 20, 2009

    I was wondering how the little one got that thing in gear...most cars have a "safety" on them that will only allow shift changing while the brake is depressed. After seeing the pics, I realized this was an older vehicle.

    I hate it for them...glad she is okay...

  • LOC May 20, 2009

    People are so insensitive. Prayers are with the mother and child. I am glad she is okay. We always say what we are not going to do. You dont know what your child will do. Sometimes mistakes happen. She was just running in the house for a quick minute. She probably didnt think her 4-year old was going to do that. never say never because you are not that perfect that "stuff" cant happen to you... Get over yourself people!!!

  • Professor May 20, 2009

    my child would never have crawled over the seat, or

    Better rethink that comment. You can never second guess a child regardless how well you think you taught the child. Children are children.

  • iron fist May 20, 2009

    Set the parking break

  • Professor May 20, 2009

    Take the under-age child with you when you leave your vehicle. That would be the smart and wise thing to do.

  • Professor May 20, 2009

    Luck has nothing to do with this. God's hands was on her. Parents please turned off your motor regardless how long you will be at a certain place. Next time, there might be a unhappy ending and you don't won't that.

  • teacher-mom May 20, 2009

    They were lucky. Never leave a child unattended.

  • tux May 20, 2009

    Unless this article has changed since some of these postings, did some of you actually read the article? And another thing, most 4 year olds probably can unbuckle a seatbelt and climb over a seat relatively easily (my 3 year old niece has wriggled out of her booster on more than one occasion) and this type of car has the shifter on the steering wheel (3 on the tree) so I could definitely see such a thing occurring.