Incident Determined to be Accidental
HANSON — Chief Michael Miksch reports that the Hanson Police Department has identified a driver and child after the child fell out of a moving vehicle Monday morning, March 2.
The child was unharmed in the incident and after speaking with the driver, who is the child’s caregiver, the incident was determined to be an accident.
At approximately 10 a.m. Monday, a woman was pulling out of the Hanson Town Hall boat ramp exit onto Liberty Street (Route 58) when the child in her care opened the rear driver’s side door and fell out of the vehicle onto the road.
The child tumbled into the road and quickly stood up and ran towards the vehicle.
The driver pulled over and got out and ran toward the child. The woman picked up the child and brought the child back to the vehicle. They remained at the scene for a short time before driving away.
On Tuesday, March 4, Hanson Police released videos of the incident and asked the public’s assistance in identifying the driver and child to ensure that the child was okay.
On Tuesday night, the driver contacted police to tell them that the child was unharmed in the incident. The woman explained that the child had been in a car seat and the child unbuckled the car seat unbeknownst to the caregiver. The child then opened the door before the autolock feature engaged in the vehicle.
“We were glad to find out that the child was okay and it appears that this incident was accidental,” Chief Miksch said. “I would like to thank the members of the media and public who assisted us in getting the word out that we were looking to speak with the driver involved.”
The driver will not face any charges or citations. The Department of Children and Families was notified of the incident.
Chief Miksch would like to share the following safety tips about driving with young children from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA):
- Teach children the proper times in which they can open a car door. Failure to have child locks on and children playing with the door may result in children opening the door at the wrong time and possibly falling out of a moving vehicle.
- Teach children that car doors are not toys and shouldn’t be played with. Children may sustain injuries while fooling around with the door, including injuries to fingers and hands.
- Child locks should remain on rear doors at all times to ensure your child’s safety. Children should also be taught a safe procedure for entering and exiting the car.
- Always make sure your car seat is installed correctly. For a seat belt to fit properly the lap belt must lie snugly across the upper thighs, not the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest and not cross the neck or face. The proper placement of a seat belt restrains the child safely in a crash.
- Infants under the age of one should always ride in a rear-facing car seat. A rear-facing car seat has a harness and in a crash, it cradles and moves with your child to reduce the stress to the child’s fragile neck and spinal cord.