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Old 05-12-2012, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Space Coast
1,981 posts, read 2,562,748 times
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This is my absolute biggest fear. I have made it a habit that the first thing I do when I get to my desk and wait for my computer to boot up is to mentally review that morning's drop off. Then half the time I start second guessing myself anyway and walking back to the parking lot to double check my car.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:00 PM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
21,129 posts, read 18,944,496 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Magritte25 View Post
This article has stayed with me since the first time I read it. I just re-read it. Lyn Balfour's story is agonizing. I mean they all are, but the re-enactment of finding her son, the retelling of the 911 call and her keening, screaming, heartbroken scream....ugh. No. I don't know how you go on after something like that.
Oh God, that ... such a horrible, unbearable accident. I don't think jail time is deserved. The sickening guilt and sorrow for the rest of your life, that's the remorse that punishers want, and it's already achieved for free. I can imagine no greater pain. There is nothing to gain by imprisoning a mother or father after such an accident, nothing to gain by tearing up a family--which will likely as not happen anyway due to anger and grief.

The parents who park their kids in the sun on purpose so they can hit the bar or a lover's house, they are something else entirely.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:42 PM
 
Location: West Coast USA
1,577 posts, read 1,022,071 times
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Couldn't read it. Too painful.

And I had to get real about my own moment that early spring in Minnesota.
I went to the drug store that Sunday morning on the way to church. Upon leaving, the sun was at the level of my windshield. I had the light but feared someone was in the crosswalk, so I drove ever so slowly, watching. I saw no one, until I hit her. A little old lady, maybe ten years older than I am now, and her like-aged friend. I only hit the one. But i hit her. I heard her body thud on my bumper then saw her fall. The other lady stood there, screaming, her mouth remaining open.

It was long, long before cell phones. I jumped out of my car, screaming, "Call an ambulanve! Call the police! Help us!" There were people at the corner across the street. One ran into an open men's store. I still stood there, screaming...I don't know what. I didn't want to touch the lady lying in the street, for fear of injuring her further, and I was afraid someone would hit my car, and she would be actually run over.

But she stood up, walked over to me, and said, "I'm not hurt. I was just bumped."
I protested that she had to go to the hospital, but she didn't want to.
The police came first. I was still screaming. "Please make her go! I have plenty of insurance!"
"We can't make her do what she doesn't want to," the officer said.
I still protested. But he was firm. He said that he would, however, like to check my story about the sun preventing me from seeing her.

Only then did I realize that I had locked my two half-orphaned children in the car -- in the middle of the intersection, during a turn!. I felt like not only the worst driver but the worst mother. But the officer was able to unlock my car, and he said, "You are right: I can't see anything out the windsheild."

It was one of the most unforgettable days of my life. I have done very wrong things, too.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:47 PM
 
3,721 posts, read 8,062,484 times
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I believe it happens too, people get distracted for a huge variety of reasons, putting a valuable items in the back beside the baby is a good idea as No Kutzu sugg'd. In this day and age, people are so busy coming and going and rushing around, IMO it's easy to understand how something like that could occur, sure a child is of paramount importance but it's easy to lose focus when there are other things going on, no matter how mundane. Many years ago a friend told me about his friend who arrived at work and was served w/ divorce papers upon getting out of the car. Unfortunately, his dog was in a crate in the back and the owner totally forgot about his precious dog for hours and by then it was too late, he was devastated, the dog was his baby. Even though I didnt know him, I felt so bad for him, he loved his dog and it was a horrible accident.
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:08 PM
 
Location: TX
5,926 posts, read 2,333,597 times
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Never say never, I guess. But I always talk to my son (almost 2) when we're in the car and always have since he was born. So the whole idea of "forgetting your child is there" sounds odd to me. He's just in the front of my mind everywhere we go. I think I'd sooner forget myself, if that were possible
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:14 PM
 
Location: West Coast USA
1,577 posts, read 1,022,071 times
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I wish I could think that of myself, Vic, but after what happened to us, I can no longer trust myself so strongly. Now, I have several grandchildren. We, too, have spent most of our time while in my car chatting, singing, making up silly songs, etc. But...
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:21 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
22,116 posts, read 16,694,168 times
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I came too close for comfort on this one. Dh normally did day care drop off. One hot day, I had to drop dd off but, absent mindedly, turned left out of the sub towards work, out of habit, instead of right to go to the day care. As I got out of my car, I realized dd was in the back seat. As busy as we are it's too easy to get on auto pilot.

After that, I had a teddy bear I put into her car seat when she wasn't in it and kept in the front seat with me when she was in it to serve as a reminder that some days I alter my usual pattern.
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:23 PM
 
2,820 posts, read 2,073,524 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VelcroQueen View Post
I wish I could think that of myself, Vic, but after what happened to us, I can no longer trust myself so strongly. Now, I have several grandchildren. We, too, have spent most of our time while in my car chatting, singing, making up silly songs, etc. But...

I think the important thing to remember is that these cases aren't typically ordinary days. And it usually isn't just one change in the schedule like using a different sitter. Typically there's multiple stressors plus a change in schedule...if you read that woman's story, there were so many little changes and stresses that added up to one catastrophic mistake. And many times the child is sleeping, so the parent wouldn't be speaking to them.

I've had days where I meant to drive to the college and drove to work instead. I once got all the way to the parking lot of the college and then just sat there in total confusion for a few minutes. Our brains can get overwhelmed.
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
22,116 posts, read 16,694,168 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParallelJJCat View Post
I think the important thing to remember is that these cases aren't typically ordinary days. And it usually isn't just one change in the schedule like using a different sitter. Typically there's multiple stressors plus a change in schedule...if you read that woman's story, there were so many little changes and stresses that added up to one catastrophic mistake. And many times the child is sleeping, so the parent wouldn't be speaking to them.

I've had days where I meant to drive to the college and drove to work instead. I once got all the way to the parking lot of the college and then just sat there in total confusion for a few minutes. Our brains can get overwhelmed.
My dd was sleeping in the back seat when I almost left her in the car. Sometimes I look at her and think she almost wasn't here. If I had walked away from that car without looking into the back seat....

We're so busy these days and stressed and it's so easy to make a left instead of a right and be in auto pilot. That's all it took for me. I made that left and, in my mind, dh was dropping dd off at day care not me. It was a normal day only she was in the back seat.

It's easier than you think. I read about a college professor who did the same thing I did only he walked away. Or the parents who each throught the other one had grabbed the sleeping baby out of the car after church only to realize, hours later when the baby should have been up from her nap she was still in the car. My heart goes out to these parents.
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:31 PM
 
Location: TX
5,926 posts, read 2,333,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VelcroQueen View Post
I wish I could think that of myself, Vic, but after what happened to us, I can no longer trust myself so strongly. Now, I have several grandchildren. We, too, have spent most of our time while in my car chatting, singing, making up silly songs, etc. But...
Absolutely. That's why I said, "Never say never". Still, I think it would greatly minimize the odds of a person forgetting their child is in the car with them if they talked to them and everything. The mind should never get that busy on other stuff while you're driving anyway. That's risking your child's life in more ways than one...

Whatever a parent can do to help prevent this from happening, it's worth doing. If you have to turn off the radio and cell phone and narrate to your child every move you make in traffic, do so. Put the diaper bag in the front seat with you, etc.
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