WESTMINSTER — On Wednesday at 7:05 a.m., Westminster police said a mother ran over her own toddler and killed her.
"The child and the mom she was great," said neighbor Mary Miller.
Miller lives right next door to where police said a mother was taking her two older children to school when she started backing out of the driveway in the area of 84th Avenue and Federal Boulevard in Westminster. Investigators said the girl was not behind the vehicle, but she was run over and killed.
"Their kids don't run around like that," Miller said. "I just didn't understand how it happened like that."
Greg Durocher is a former firefighter who started a company called Safe Rides 4 Kids. He said tragedies like this one in Westminster happen way too often around the country.
"Two hundred to 300 times a year where a child is fatally injured," Durocher said. "That's almost once a day."
Durocher said he believes the best way to avoid scenes like this is for people to change their habits. He says drivers should scan all sides of the car as they walk up.
"You're walking up, you're consciously intentionally have created a habit of scanning under the car," Durocher said. "You can hit five of the sides before you even approach the car."
He said once inside, take advantage of the rear view camera if you have one.
"Taking a moment to look at the rearview camera, giving it a minute to boot up," Durocher said.
Durocher said drivers should then check all the mirrors before the car starts moving.
"Covers majority of the area and if you've checked behind your car before you move, you should be clear," Durocher said.
Talking to kids is important as well, according to Durocher. He said talking to kids about car safety is important even if they are just toddlers.
"I think it's important to start as early as possible and have conversations with them in the language of a 2-year-old," Durocher said.
These are little changes, he says, that can make the biggest of differences especially if it means saving a life. Unfortunately, it's too late for a grieving family in Westminster.
"I just think it's really sad because it was a little baby that got killed," Miller said.
Police are still investigating. The identities of the girl and her mother have not been released.