Knoxville family warning parents of driveway safety following accident

One Knoxville family is mourning the loss of 9-year-old Brooklyn Grace Spears who was hit by a car when she was in the driveway of a Fort Myers home on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021.
A pickup truck driven by a 27-year-old man was entering the driveway of 18469 Phlox Drive, while Brooklyn was in between two other vehicles in the driveway, acc
Published: Jan. 2, 2022 at 9:41 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 2, 2022 at 11:24 PM EST
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - More than 9,000 children are treated in emergency rooms for injuries obtained when they were left unsupervised inside or around motor vehicles, according to Safe Kids Worldwide.

One Knoxville family is mourning the loss of 9-year-old Brooklyn Grace Spears who was visiting family in Florida when she was hit by a car in the driveway of a Fort Myers home on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021.

Home at the time Brooklyn was in the driveway, was her mother.

“I told her I didn’t want her outside by herself and I was walking back outside and that’s when I saw her on the ground,” said Amanda Neubacher.

Neubacher told WVLT News her husband, Nicholas Naubacher was coming home from work when Brooklyn ran to the driveway to meet her step-dad.

“My husband was out there trying to help her until paramedics arrived,” said Amanda Neubacher.

Brooklyn was transported to Gulf Coast Hospital in critical condition and later died.

“I just wish I could fix everything and I can’t,” said Nicholas Neubacher.

Her stepfather was parking a pickup truck when Brooklyn stepped out from two parked cars and was hit by the truck, according to family.

She was taken to a local hospital where she later died from her injuries.

Officials with the Florida Highway Patrol referred WVLT News to the following safety tips when it comes to children and driveway safety:

  • Teach children to never play in, on, around, or under vehicles. Keep toys or bicycles off the driveway.
  • Designate safe play areas for your children that are off the driveway and away from vehicles.
  • If children play in the driveway, have an adult supervise at all times.
  • Keep vehicles in driveways or garages locked and store keys out of children’s reach to avoid children getting in a vehicle and turning it on or moving it on accident.
  • When backing out of the driveway or parked spot: - Walk around your vehicle to check for children playing and make sure all children are safe and accounted for. - Turn off your radio to better hear your surroundings. Roll down windows to listen for children or pedestrians. - Know your vehicle’s blind spots and look again before backing. Check your rearview and side mirrors. - Keep your foot on the brake until you completely shift into reverse. Look directly through the rear window and back out slowly. - Look both ways especially over a sidewalk or other area where children or pedestrians are present like school zones and residential areas.

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