CHILD DRIVEWAY DEATHS PROMPT SAFETY CAMPAIGN – Wednesday January 23 2013

– A coroner says the tragic deaths of three toddlers run over in driveway accidents has been the catalyst for concerted efforts by authorities across Australia to stop more children being killed.

Coroner John Olle said on Tuesday there was a need to raise awareness for motorists of the dangers around driveways after a total of 14 children aged under six had been killed when accidentally hit by cars between January 2000 and September 2012. Half of the deaths had occurred from October 2010.

The ages of those children killed ranged from 11 months to five years old. Another 73 children had been seriously injured in driveway accidents during this period.

Mr Olle is investigating the deaths of three children – Prabh-Dhiyan, a 2 1/2 year old boy killed at Hillside on February 15th, 2011; Pio, a 17-month-old boy killed at Chirnside Park on February 18, 2011; and William, a 14-month-old boy killed at Red Hill on June 14th, 2011.

The coroner has suppressed the boys’ surnames because he does not want to add to the families’ grief. He said no one was to blame for their deaths.

Counsel assisting the coroner, Acting Senior Sergeant David Dimsey, told the court Prabh-Dhiyan was killed when his father was reversing out of the garage at about 8:30 am in an Audi all-wheel-drive he had owned for less than a week.

The boy’s grandmother had put him down to tie his shoelaces and he crawled into the car’s path. He was struck by the front passenger tyre.

Pio was run over by a female neighbour slowly reversing out of a shared driveway at about 8 pm in a Ford Territory station wagon on a market garden property.

The neighbour, 36, was so distraught she was taken to hospital and a blood test revealed she had smoked cannabis an hour or two before driving.

Major Collision Investigation Unit Detective Sergeant Mark Amos said the neighbour was subsequently charged with failing a drug test and fined $500 and disqualified from driving for three months. Sergeant Amos said the neighbour was not charged with culpable driving because medical experts could not confirm her drug impairment had been a significant cause of the accident.

The third toddler killed, William, was run over by his father reversing out of the garage at the family property in a Toyota Landcruiser at about 4:30 pm.

The boy’s father had left his wife and three children to drive to a friend’s house and William had followed him outside without anyone realising.

The coroner said the Baillieu government and the Office of the Child Safety Commissioner had launched a new child safety campaign in July last year to raise awareness of driveway accidents.

The campaign’s theme was: “Just because you can’t see me, doesn’t mean I’m not here.”

Most accidents occurred between 8 am and 10 am, and between 4 pm and 6 pm, and most of the vehicles involved were 4WDs, vans and utes.

In August last year the Gillard government revealed that nationally, seven children aged under 15 are killed each year and 60 seriously injured due to being hit by a vehicle moving around the home.

Mr Olle will hand down his findings into the three boys’ deaths on a date to be fixed – Mark Russell

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About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
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