Carpool driver runs over, kills 1-year-old in ‘tragic accident,’ deputies say

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TENINO, Wash. — A 21-year-old mother operating a childcare carpool will not face any criminal charges for after tragically hitting and killing a 1-year-old child in a driveway Tuesday morning, the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office said.

Sheriff’s office Lt. Cliff Zismer said the 21-year-old woman was driving two kids in a school carpool when she arrived at a friend’s home Tuesday morning in the 1600 block of Melville Street in Tenino. The 21-year-old was there to pickup a child who lived at the residence, Zismer said, as the two families have a carpool arrangement for driving their kids to school.

When the 21-year-old woman pulled into the driveway, the mother of the victim came out of the house as her other child stepped into the carpool. The driver and the victim’s mother chatted for a bit, Zismer said, and the mother set the 1-year-old victim down on the lawn.

At some point — unbeknownst to the adults — the child stepped off the lawn and into the van’s path. Believing the child went back into the home, the women parted ways and the driver backed down the driveway.

In the process, the driver knocked over and killed the 1-year-old, police said. Aid workers called to the home pronounced the child dead at the scene.

Thurston County Sheriff’s Office performed an investigation following calls about the incident. No drugs or alcohol were involved, police said, and investigators determined no one was at fault.

Zismer called the death a “tragic accident.”

No charges will be filed in the case.


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