Four-year-old in intensive care after being struck by truck in family driveway

Boy injured west of Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES — A 4-year-old boy was airlifted Sunday evening to Harborview Medical Center after his father accidentally hit him with his pickup truck while backing out of the family’s driveway.

The toddler, whose birthday was in April, was in serious but stable condition in the hospital’s intensive care unit Monday afternoon following the Father’s Day accident west of Port Angeles, a Harborview spokeswoman said.

The boy had a possible broken pelvis and suspected internal injuries, Brian King, Clallam County chief criminal deputy, said Monday.

No drugs or alcohol were involved, he said.

According to the father’s statements, he was backing up “very slowly” in his 2014 Dodge Ram 2500 at about 7:50 p.m. Sunday when the accident occurred, King said.

“It’s an unfortunate, tragic event, especially on Father’s Day,” he said.

The incident happened on Place Road in a narrow driveway with shrubs and trees on the perimeter, King said.

“The mechanism of injury, exactly what occurred and how the child sustained the injury is a mystery,” he said.

The father said he was backing up in what King estimated was a 9,000- to 10,000-pound vehicle when he heard his son crying and immediately stopped the truck, King said.

“There was no bump or anything within the vehicle that he had struck anything,” King said.

After he stopped the truck and got out, he saw his son standing in front of the truck, with no indication he had been hurt, King said.

Carrying the boy to the porch, he laid him on a bench and examined his midsection, which had deep bruises and scrapes, King said.

The father assumed he hit the child because the boy was in such close proximity to the truck, King said.

Combined with the types of injuries, there is “a strong assumption that he must have somehow struck his son with the vehicle,” King said.

“There’s no indication at this point that the tire drove over the top of him.

“The only thing we could find was some scuffing to the suspension near the driver’s side front wheel,” King added.

“Maybe his son came in contact with the truck near the front driver’s side suspension.”

His son was playing outside under his 27-year-old daughter’s supervision, the father said.

“This may just be a general reminder to always double, triple check” when children are playing outside, said King, himself a father.

“With my kids, it was like, gosh, where are the little rugrats?

“In the blink of an eye, they move around.”

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Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.

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