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Authorities Remind Drivers to be Aware of Surroundings When Reversing Vehicles

7 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago Friday, December 06 2019 Dec 6, 2019 December 06, 2019 10:00 PM December 06, 2019 in News - Local

HARLINGEN – Two children killed less than three weeks apart in deadly driveway collisions in the Rio Grande Valley.

The latest happened Thursday evening in Harlingen. Police say the father backed into his 2-year-old son.

The other happened Nov. 19 in Donna. Investigators say the grandfather backed into his 1-year-old granddaughter.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke to residents in the Harlingen neighborhood and they all have the family in their thoughts.

“I just feel for the family, especially the dad. I tried to put myself in that position. What if I accidentally ran over my kid, you know, I don't know…  I don't know, it's hard,” said Orlando Calderas with his two sons by his side. “They’re in my prayers. They’re in my prayers.”

It’s hard for Calderas to speak about the incident. It happened just down the street from his home.

“He’s gonna live that for the rest of his life. But that brought concern,” Calderas added.

He and his neighbors tell us this area is close to a school. There’s lots of children, even a small playground less than a block away from where the driveway accident happened.

It could have been anyone.

The Harlingen death comes less than three weeks after a grandfather accidentally killed his granddaughter – backing out the driveway in Donna.

The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office told CHANNEL 5 NEWS a large number of accidents happen when people are reversing their vehicle.

They say even in smaller vehicles, little obstacles and children are always hard to see, especially if they’re close.

We conducted our own exercise, around the same time in the evening both accidents took place. The vehicle we used had a rear-end camera.

Measuring out, 1 foot, 3 feet and 6 feet distances from the car’s camera to a bucket we used as an obstacle. The bucket was difficult to see at 6 feet and got worse at a foot away.

Even with rear-end cameras on new-modeled vehicles, they do nothing when it comes to children hidden in your blind spots.

Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office is asking drivers to always be aware of your surroundings.

If you’re backing up, take a minute to check around your vehicle for obstacles and children.

The sheriff’s office added it’s important to have good lighting in area where cars park around your home. If you don’t have it, it’s probably worth installing.

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