Power window tragedies: Aurora two year old's fight for life part of national trend

Categories: News

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Photos and more below.
At this writing, an Aurora two year old is in critical condition at a local hospital after being left in the car by her mom and getting her neck stuck between the window and the frame of the door.

At this point, no criminal charges have been filed in the case. But the incident resembles tragedies documented by KidsandCars.org related to children being severely injured or dying after being caught in power windows. Below, read about four such cases in which the kids survived, plus the latest on the Aurora toddler.

All photos and text courtesy of KidsandCars.org.

Samuel Aaron Mathis

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Samuel Mathis.
"On Saturday March 22, 2008 my life changed. I was getting ready for a normal day of work and I heard the front door shut. I didn't think anything about it since my Father goes outside to smoke, and the kids were watching cartoons. Well I heard my dad talking to my oldest son, and that is when I yelled at Jacob asking where Sam was. He answered saying outside. Well I went to the back door thinking he was on the back porch, and I noticed he was actually in my car. I yelled at him thinking he was looking at something on the back of my car, but he didn't answer. When I got closer to the car I realized it was running, that is when I noticed that the driver window was rolled up on his neck and he was blue, and drooling. I opened the door and promptly placed my arm under his rear end since he was kneeling on the arm rest. I then dropped the window and he just dropped into my arms. As soon as I was holding him he took a gasp of air. He was breathing but it was like he was hyperventilating, and not responding. I gave him a few extra breaths, hoping that it would help his breathing, while I was running in the house with him.

"I laid him down on the front room floor crying and talking to him. I frantically called 911 and had my brother on another phone calling my mom and my fiancé. While on the phone with 911 they asked if he was responding. All he was doing was whenever I said his name he would open his eyelids, but his eyes were still rolled back into his head. When the EMS arrived they tried talking to him and still nothing. When they placed him on the backboard is when he finally starting making noises, and coming around. Since I live in a town of only about 1,700 people, the EMS wanted to make sure they got him somewhere that was more adapt to the situation. So finally after about 30 minutes in my driveway we left to meet Life Flight, about 3 blocks down the road. There we waited an additional 15-20 minutes since the helicopter was coming from Bryan-College Station. Once PHI arrived they told me they were flying him to Dell Children's Medical Center in Austin. Once I finally arrived at the hospital which is about an hour and a half from where we live, I was told of his condition. He had suffered 2 seizures and hadn't waken up yet. He was in PICU over night. I didn't get any sleep and never left his side.

"I knew everything was going to be okay when at 2 am he woke up saying Momma. He got out of bed Easter Sunday and for the first time since I got him out of the car the day before I held him. He tried walking but stumbled and kept falling. I thought that maybe he would have some eye hand coordination problems. My mother stayed with me at the hospital and she left Sunday morning to go home and get us some clothes. We asked Sam if there was anything he wanted, and all he said was his Nemo (Finding Nemo Blanket), and his cowboy boots. Well that afternoon they took us to him new room. He had no neck brace, and all that was attached was the IV tube. The only visible mark was one on his neck, and some bruising from the IV that was in his leg, and on his arm. We were scheduled to see Physical Therapy Monday morning but since he was already up, running and was playing peek-a-boo with the nurses, they canceled it and sent us home. Due to his accident CPS was called, and I got kicked out of my mothers house. It was either the kids go to foster care or I leave. They wanted me and my fiancé to take psychological and drug tests, and parenting classes. I was also looking at criminal charges, all because no one believed me that he did it his self. The day he came home he proved to them that he did do it. All has ended and well, Samuel is 3 now and doing great. The only mark now is a very faint dark line on his neck."

Continue for more about power window tragedies courtesy of KidsandCars.org, plus the latest on the Aurora toddler's fight for life.

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10 comments
Mel Cooper
Mel Cooper

The one in Aurora gets me because there were supposedly other kids in the car too, up to a 10 year old. A 10 year old is *more* than capable of seeing the issue, rolling window down, opening doors, getting the mother, etc. And then that, instead of giving CPR or rescue breathing, the mother drove to the hospital herself...sorry to say it, as dangerous as windows can be, life is dangerous...and the root cause isn't a window, it's the situation that allowed the child to get hurt in the first place.

Becky Reinig
Becky Reinig

Actually, my window locks work in a way that surprised me. She can't roll the window down but she can roll it up. I thought it would lock both directions

Xi Xing
Xi Xing

Yes, parents need to be more responsible!

Michelle Geiger
Michelle Geiger

^^ I'm sure your mother knew where you were and what you were doing at ALL times ;)

won_leg
won_leg

This is one of those cases where I will keep my potentially hypocrite mouth SHUT !

Scott R. Shriver
Scott R. Shriver

Sure. We can prevent lots of things. One way would be to Watch your kids... Another would be to Watch your kids. And oh, if you don't watch your kids, well do that too.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Mel Cooper ... sure, blame the 10 yr. old.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Becky Reinig ... blame Detroit

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