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Two-year-old child dies in Corcoran accident

A recent automobile accident in Corcoran, Minnesota resulted in the death of a young boy. Although the investigation is ongoing, onlookers' accounts indicate that this tragedy could have been averted by the presence of a backup camera in the vehicle involved. Recent technological improvements make automobiles safer all the time. However, older vehicles lack these safety features, and it is not mandatory that all new vehicles contain these devices. While it is doubtful that cars will ever be completely safe, the inclusion of new technology would help prevent tragic car accidents like the one in Corcoran.

The events leading up to the accident

The incident occurred during the evening of July 25 in the Hennepin County mobile home community in which the young boy and many members of his extended family lived. KMSP-TV reported that the toddler's mother and aunt were preparing to leave while he stayed home with his grandmother. Family members were congregated around the aunt's minivan to say good-bye, and the boy was playing nearby. Both the aunt and the boy's mother thought that the boy was out of the street, safely away from the van before they pulled away. As the vehicle started to move, the sound of the boy's screams alerted them that he was in grave danger. Family members rushed him to Maple Grove Hospital, where he was pronounced dead from blunt force craniocerebral injuries.

Law enforcement officers from the Hennepin County Sheriff's Department are investigating the accident. At this point, no citations have been issued or arrests made. News sources report that alcohol was not a factor in the wreck.

An article on kaaltv.com noted that the family's decision to transport the boy to a hospital rather than relying on an ambulance is indicative of a trend in the area. The reasons for not calling an ambulance are unknown, but a Hennepin County EMT said that panic and fear can cause family members to drive to the hospital instead of waiting for emergency medical services. Calling an ambulance may not have changed the outcome in this situation, but it is advisable to do so in an emergency because EMTs can start treatment immediately. In addition, EMTs can make an informed decision about which area hospital is best equipped to deal with the medical emergency at hand.

Would a backup camera have saved a life?

Since the investigation is still underway, it is unclear how exactly it occurred. If it was a backup accident, one in which a child who is directly behind a vehicle and not visible to the driver due to the child's size is hit when the driver reverses, a backup camera may have helped. Backup cameras show a driver the view of what is directly behind the car on a display in the rearview mirror or the dashboard.

Although this technology is appearing on more new cars, the majority of automobiles on U.S. highways are over 10 years old. The introduction of kits has made installation of a backup camera system on an older model possible.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has proposed standards to require carmakers to install backup cameras on all new vehicles by 2014, citing that about 100 children age five or under die in backup accidents each year, and more than half of these are under the age of one. These regulations are currently stalled.

If you or your child has been injured in a car accident, you should call an experienced attorney to determine your rights to recovery under the law.

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