Local News

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

Posted May 19, 2009 6:53 p.m. EDT
Updated May 19, 2009 10:20 p.m. EDT

— 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 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.