Toddler killed in own driveway

February 5, 2009 4:40:03 AM PST
A three-year-old was killed, run over right outside her home in southeast Houston Wednesday. And it was her own mother who was driving the vehicle that ran her over. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

In the glow of flashing emergency lights, there is no missing the sadness and the disbelief on the faces of those who gathered at the Quiroz family home.

Just after 3pm Wednesday afternoon, police tell us Erika Quiroz accidentally killed her three-year-old daughter Salena while backing out of the driveway.

"The child ran up to the door. She had the vehicle in reverse, put her foot on the brake, reached down to pick the child up," said Sgt. W.R. Cumbess of the Houston Police Department. "The car started going backwards. Presumably her foot slipped off. They both fell out. They both were run over."

There is confusion as to whether Salena was in her carseat in the back of the SUV, got out and ran around to the driver's side or whether she ran to the vehicle from the house.

Either way, neighbor Jesse Gonzalez says it's not the first time the child was too close to moving vehicles.

"I was out there watering my plants a couple of times and I would see her too close to the street. I would take off after her before somebody came and got her," said Gonzalez.

Gonzales lives across the street in the Freeway Manor neighborhood and he was among the neighbors trying to help family members grieve their loss.

"She was just a little go getter like most kids," said Gonzalez.

Already, the SUV sits parked again in the driveway, some candles on the ground next to it. Police told us that inside the home, the mother and father are inconsolable, and they have learned a lesson too late to save their daughter.

"Know where your children are at all times," said Sgt. Cumbess.

Police told us it is very unlikely there will be any charges against the mother as this was just an awful accident.

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