[UPDATE] Bizarre Accident Sends Pregnant Woman and Toddler to Hospital

By: Jennifer Milton; Julie Montanaro Email
By: Jennifer Milton; Julie Montanaro Email

UPDATED 10.6.2010 2:43PM by Julie Montanaro

According to her mother, 15-month-old Karma Gibson has been released from the hospital and is now recovering from a broken leg at home. Samantha McDowell remains in ICU.


UPDATED 10.5.2010 7pm by Julie Montanaro

A pregnant woman and a toddler remain hospitalized tonight after they were both run over by a rolling car.

TPD says somehow another toddler in the driver's seat put the car in gear and the two got pulled beneath the car as it rolled down the driveway.

The double stroller still sits outside this home on Connie Drive. Police say a babysitter was trying to load it into the back of a Volvo when a two year old playing in the front seat set the car in motion.

It struck a 15 month old girl and the babysitter - who is nearly 6 months pregnant. She wound up beneath the car at the bottom of the driveway.

"Whoo ... my heart was going 90 miles an hour, you know, and all she wanted was out from under that car. Do you have a jack? Somebody help me," said neighbor Miriam Murray who called 911.

Her daughter Dina Murray ran to pick up the 15 month old. "I heard a baby crying. She was outside of the yard, they have a gated yard, and she was laying on the sidewalk on the passenger side of the car, Dina Murray said. "At that point, I went over there and picked up the baby to see if she was okay." Did you know right away that she was hurt? "She was crying, I knew she was scared, as far as hurt, I kind of suspected."

Crash reports say the babysitter, 24 year old Samantha McDowell, suffered a broken pelvis, but her unborn baby seemed to be doing well. She remains hospitalized.

We spoke with the mother of 15 month old Karma Gibson. Rachel Malphurs says the child has a broken leg and lots of bumps and bruises. She remained at her child's bedside at TMH Tuesday, but we were able to speak to her at home Monday night.

"We're going to have to take it as it goes, one day at a time," she said of her daughter's recovery.

"Accidents happen. I can't blame anyone for it," Malphurs said.

Tallahassee Police crash reports say when they arrived on scene the car was in drive, the parking brake was on and the keys were still on a hook by the home's front door. A wrecker driver told officers the parking brake wasn't working.

"It does appear that there were some mechanical issues with the car that allowed it, in this instance, to roll even though the keys were not in the car at the time," said TPD Spokesman Derek Friend. "We are not anticipating filing any criminal charges."

At last word, both the babysitter and child were still hospitalized. The two year old in the driver's seat was not hurt.

"Kids shouldn't be let to play in a car at all. That's how accidents happen," neighbor Dina Murray said. "They were lucky somebody didn't get killed."
[UPDATE] 10-5 12:43PM

A pregnant woman and toddler remain hospitalized today in the wake of a tragic accident. Both were run over by a car with a two year-old behind the wheel.

The vehicle rolled down the driveway and backed over them.

WCTV broke the story last night and Tallahassee Police have just released the accident report. Indications are right now that due to some type of mechanical problem, the two-year-old was able to put the car in gear and the babysitter tried, but failed to stop it.

The incident happened Sunday, Oct. 3 at a home on Connie Drive. You can still see the orange markings in the street that show where the vehicle stopped and where the babysitter lay trapped under the car.

Samantha McDowell is about 6 months pregnant and suffered a broken pelvis. She is recovering at TMH. A one-year-old was struck by the car as well. Karma Gibson is hospitalized with a broken leg. Her mother says she is in a cast from her chest to her toes.

TPD says no charges will be filed.


Tallahassee, Florida --

A tragic accident in Tallahassee sends a pregnant woman and a child to the hospital and apparently a faulty emergency brake is to blame.

Rachel Malphurs says two of her young daughters were in the care of a babysitter and the sitter's boyfriend when her two year old accidentally knocked the gear shifter of the parked car into neutral.

Malphurs says there were no keys in the ignition at the time and the emergency brake was on, but it did not work properly. That's when she says the pregnant woman picked up her 15 month old child and the two were struck by the vehicle. The two were taken by ambulance to Tallahassee Memorial Hospital.

"Accidents happen, I can't blame anybody for it, it was a malfunction with the vehicle itself, there was no neglect involved, I mean they were doing what they were supposed to, they were taking care of the kids," said Malphurs.

The child's leg was broken and the sitter's un-born baby is doing well, but the extent of her injuries is unknown at this time. We have made several attempts to get a statement from the Tallahassee Police Department, but they say the incident is under investigation and they cannot release any details at this time.

Malphurs says officers told her they are calling it an accident and said no charges will be filed.

We will bring you more details as soon as they become available.

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