Toddler hit by car in southwest Houston

March 1, 2012 3:06:53 AM PST
A Houston toddler is in a hospital after the kind of accident that has federal regulators calling on Congress to make vehicles safer. They want all new cars to be equipped with rearview video cameras.

The little girl was hit by a car shortly before 6pm Wednesday at the Spring Forest Apartment complex off Bissonet and Rampart. The female driver was getting ready to go to work and backed out of a carport at the complex, striking the child, who police identify as Aliah Melgar.

Investigators say the woman became hysterical once she realized she hit the child. She is cooperating.

Aliah had been at the apartment complex with her aunt, who was babysitting.

Police say Aliah's injuries are very serious. She was initially flown from Memorial Hermann Southwest to the Texas Medical Center.

The accident comes as some lawmakers are asking that automakers be required to equip cars with rearview video camera systems by 2014, though some automakers complain it's too expensive. At issue in particular are blind zones in large SUVs and pickups. Half of all back-over deaths involve children under five, and they often happen in driveways and parking lots.

"Whenever you are in a complex, especially when there are children around, you want to be extra careful when you do back a vehicle up. We've had several incidents similar to this in the past and the outcome is not generally very good in most of the situations," said Sgt. Ray Gonzales with the HPD Vehicular Crimes Division.

Police say there is no suspicion of alcohol at all, but the driver did volunteer to take a blood test.

So far, there are no charges as police are treating this as an accident.