Child Falls Out of Moving Pickup in Tampa and Dies from Injuries, Highlighting the Importance of Using Child Locks

A child was tragically killed in entirely preventable circumstances when he fell out of the backseat of a turning pickup truck in Tampa in late February. According to a report from a local news outlet, the child, who was riding in the back seat, opened the door and fell out of a pickup truck as it was making a right turn. The vehicle then ran over the child’s legs when the driver attempted to stop so that the child’s father could jump out of the car and pick up the injured child.

Once the car was stopped, the child’s father was able to grab the 5-year-old and re-enter the vehicle. While they were attempting to drive to a nearby hospital, the truck happened upon a Tampa police officer, who they flagged down for assistance. With the police officer’s help, the child was taken to a hospital, but eventually died from injuries suffered in the accident.

There are also two other children in the truck, both of whom were in child seats. No charges currently are pending.   

Are Child Safety Locks Required under Florida Law?

This incident in Tampa highlights the importance of ensuring that you take all proper precautions to ensure your children are safe before pulling out of the driveway. If a child is going to be riding in a backseat, child locks should be used. The federal government began requiring car manufacturers to include child safety locks in 1985. However, requiring that a car manufacturer install them is a good first step, but this does not mean that anyone will actually use them. In this recent Tampa tragedy, a child may still be alive today if the child lock on the truck’s back doors simply had been engaged.   

Florida law requires children age 5 and under to be secured properly in a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device. However, requiring that child locks be engaged when children are in the car would be one additional step that may have saved a child’s life in this incident in Tampa.

Contact Schwed, Adams and McGinley, P.A.

At Schwed, Adams and McGinley, P.A., our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 200 years of experience representing individuals who have been injured in virtually any type of scenario that resulted in a wrongful death or catastrophic injuries, including situations in which proper precautions may not have been taken by someone who had a duty to take action to ensure the safety of a child. While this recent Tampa incident involved family members, sometimes another adult or even a school bus driver or other responsible individual may fail to take the appropriate precautions to ensure your child is safe, which may result in injuries to your child. If you find yourself in this situation, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams and McGinley, P.A. today at  877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com to schedule a free consultation.