September 23, 2000 – October 19, 2002
Cameron’s story is one that every parent must try to learn from. Learn from the preventable tragedy that took place and remember that what happened to Cameron can happen to any child. Learn from Cameron, and his devastated family.
Cameron came into the world as a tough little guy who loved life. From the very beginning Cameron loved action. He loved being tossed into the air, hugged, wrestled with and most of all he loved to play with his older brother, Scott. Although he was much smaller in size and younger in age, Cameron simply loved to play with Scott.
They were great together. Scott never hurt Cameron; and always looked out for his best interest. Scott and Cameron were the best of brothers. One of my favorite lines that Scott ever said took place while driving home from the hospital with baby Cameron. We were in our big safe SUV with the children buckled up in the back-seat in their car seats and Scott shouts out, “”Now we’re a family.”” And there we were the safe American family looking all fashionable in our sporty SUV that we purchased partially because of its’ safety record. Just what any caring parent would do for their precious cargo.
Needless to say, my wife Leslie and I soon learned the hardest lesson we will ever learn and one that will hopefully impact others. Our SUV was anything but the safe vehicle we thought we had purchased. Had we only known about the reality of the large and dangerous blind spot we would have done things very differently.
On October 19, 2002 at 9:30pm Leslie and I had returned from dinner with friends. Cameron and Scott were put to bed earlier but upon returning Cameron heard our voices and called out for us. While Leslie went to pay the babysitter, I could not resist the temptation to go and get the little guy. When I peeked into this room there he was sitting up with a great big smile. I quickly took him out of his crib and brought him downstairs to be with Leslie and myself. After a short while I announced I needed to move the SUV into the driveway for the evening. Cameron stayed inside as he always had done in the past.
While driving into the driveway I choose to back into the driveway because each morning the street is filled with children and people walking dogs, etc. As always, I used both side view mirrors and the rear view mirror, as well as looked over my shoulder in an attempt to avoid hitting anything.
Suddenly I noted a small bump with the front wheel and wasn’t sure what it could have been. I knew I was too far from the curb to have hit that; and that there was no newspaper in the driveway. Quickly I jumped from the vehicle and saw the most devastating scene of my life. My little Cameron was lying down with his blanket in his hand while bleeding profusely from his head.
As a physician I knew it was the end. I did everything I could do and so did the paramedics. Cameron had died a sudden and horrible death because he was too small for me to see him behind my vehicle.
This story has happened to too many families and will continue to happen at an alarming rate if we as drivers are not informed about the real danger of driving vehicles with large blind spots.
Our federal government, whose job it is to make sure we have safe vehicles to drive, needs to recognize this all too real problem and begin to inform the public about these dangers, and the automobile manufacturers need to install technology that has proven to be effective and would help warn drivers that something is behind their vehicle before backing up.
Making these changes would help to protect us all; especially innocent children.
Let us all learn from little Cameron, and make the world a safer place.