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Son accidentally rolled SUV over Raeford mom

Posted June 21, 2013

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— An 11-year-old boy's curiosity left his mother in critical condition this week. Melissa Watson, 43, of Raeford, was pinned beneath her own Dodge Journey after her child started the SUV using the push-button ignition.

"The car had a certain way that it worked," Watson's father, Charles Watson, explained Friday. "I asked my daughter about it, and she said it has no key."

Melissa Watson left her son in the car while she went into Forever Young Child Care to talk to an employee. He thought he'd help his mom, get the car ready, Charles Watson said.

According to witnesses, when she saw that her son had started the car, Melissa Watson ran out to help him and ended up underneath the wheels. Rescuers say she saved her life by rolling into a dip in the parking lot.

On Friday, she was being treated at UNC Hospitals for serious internal injuries, Charles Watson said.

"She is in surgery right now," he said. "She has lacerations all the way down her back. She has lacerations on her head. I believe her hip is broken or fractured in a couple of places."

Charles Watson said he got the story of how the accident happened from the boy. 

"I couldn’t understand how her son got the car started," he said.

It took emergency personnel almost 45 minutes to get Melissa Watson free from under the car.

Her family has no timetable for her recovery, and so they wait. 

"We haven’t even been to where the accident even happened," Charles Watson said. "We’ve just been on the highway and then here in the hospital."

Melissa Watson had worked through the night before picking her son up at the child care facility. That child is worried, but fine, Charles Watson said. The single mom has another son who is being cared for by his father.

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  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jul 1, 2013

    carrboroyouth - "I hope she recovers and I hope the boy can learn to forgive himself."

    The child probably does feel guilty and worried about this, but it's the mother's fault for leaving a child in the car. We could be reading a story about the death of the child or mother.

    You NEVER leave any child of ANY age in a car without adult supervision. How many times do we have to read stories like this before all parents will get a clue???

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jul 1, 2013

    "Melissa Watson left her son in the car while she went into Forever Young Child Care to talk to an employee."

    Why???

    You NEVER leave a child of ANY age in a car for ANY reason. This can happen, or worse, if you do.

    Praying for the mother to recover, but moms and dads - you have to do better parenting than this.

  • smcallah Jul 1, 2013

    "Even with a push button start a car isn't going to start without a key (key fob) in the switch."

    There are cars now that start with the push button if the key fob is in the proximity of the car. Some cars don't even have a place to put the key fob.

  • simplelogic Jun 24, 2013

    "the key only has to be near the car not in it."

    Really? Maybe yours is different, but mine won't start unless the key is inside the car, and you cannot lock the car with the key inside. So remote start won't work with that kind of key.

  • michaelclay Jun 24, 2013

    simplelogic, the key only has to be near the car not in it.

  • simplelogic Jun 24, 2013

    She must have left the key fob in the car, or it wouldn't have started. Smart keys are actually great for people with arthritic hands or other manual dexterity issues, but as with any technology, things can go wrong. I hope she recovers completely from her injuries.

  • momcat49 Jun 24, 2013

    I guess those faddish push-to-start buttons on cars aren't always such a hot idea after all, eh? I think I'll keep my old fashioned turn-the-key-in-the-ignition to start cars a while longer.

  • Pseudonym Jun 21, 2013

    I always wondered if there was a point to pushing a button instead of turning a key. Now I see there's at least one thing that makes turning a key preferable to pushing a button.

    Hope she's OK.

  • djofraleigh Jun 21, 2013

    Look, this was a terrible accident. The kid didn't mean to run over his mother. The boy knew he shouldn't move a car at a day car even if he had done it in his home drive way, which he probably had not done, either.

    Even with a push button start a car isn't going to start without a key (key fob) in the switch. The car won't go into gear without pressing the brake, of course. The push button start facilitates remote starting features. These Durango are great family vehicles and safe. Car manuals all say not to leave a child in a running vehicle, or one not running. We've all violated that one.

  • carrboroyouth Jun 21, 2013

    I hope she recovers and I hope the boy can learn to forgive himself.