Child ran in front of my car(31 Posts)
Something awful happened yesterday. I had just pulled out of the car park at home onto a side street and was travelling <10mph when a child 8 yrs old ran out from behind a parked van without looking right in front of my car. Although I slammed the brakes hard immediately she was bumped by my car and fell to the floor. She jumped straight up and her mum-who had been stood talking with other adults-called 999. Long story short(ish) paramedic,police and ambulance arrived and child was fine thank goodness.
Lots of witnesses, including the child's mum, told police that I had been driving at <10mph, reacted immediately and that the child had run out from behind the van without looking. Police reassured me that I had done nothing wrong and the girl was being discharged home from the ambulance. Such a relief.
Today however my DD has come home upset from school. The little girl and her older brother are at the same school as my DD. The girl wasn't in today but the brother has told the other children that I deliberately ran his sister over. DD,who was in the car with me at the time of the accident, tried to explain what had actually happened but the other children wouldn't listen to her.
Now I know that this must be a horrible shock for the brother but I think it's rotten that my daughter spent the day being bullied for an accident that was beyond my or her control. WIBU to speak to the school head about this if it continues next week? Gosh,this sounds horribly insensitive/selfish now I've written it down but my daughter has some significant mental health problems (anxiety,OCD,suicidal thoughts) and I'm worried how this may set back her already painfully slow recovery.
Thoughts anyone please?
Not unreasonable in the slightest, even if your DD didn't have MH problems.
It sounds as though the little boy is angry/over protective of his sister, so someone needs to talk to him and help him deal with what happened.
It's not fair on your DD at all.
Speak to the head on Monday. Kids are cruel and chinese whispers can be brutal so speak to the head and ask them to make sure the children are all made aware that X is ok and that it was an accident.
Don't underestimate the shock for you or your DD. It's not insensitive to take care of your DD.
Speak to the school and have this dealt with.
I don't are why he has done it. I would ask the school to contact his mum and let them know since she backed up your version of events.
He may be angry or upset. He may just like the attention and upsetting other children and this is his excuse.
Send the HT an email now. She can then spend the weekend deciding what to do about it on Monday, to nip it in the bud.
DSis, Deputy HT, had a similar problem last year. She was able to assure the parent/driver that they would have road safety chat with all classes on the Monday morning. The kids were all really interested, asked lots of questions about what had happened and satisfied their naturally ghoulish curiosity.
No adult will believe that story but do have a chat with the mum and let her know that her DS has an over active imagination. It sounds as though she might be helpful.
Don't wait for a repetition: speak to the Head anyway. It's better for the school to prepare for a problem than have to react to one.
Speak to the school soon as poss to get it nipped in the bud.
Practically the same thing happened to me about 7 yrs ago, except there was no one else in the street - I had to carry the screaming little girl to the nearest house to find out where she lived.
Thankfully no lasting damage to the little girl and no action against me from police, but my son was in the back (like your daughter) and it was a huge shock to him and me - I had flashbacks for months with 'what-ifs'.
Hope you're ok
Send the HT an email now. She can then spend the weekend deciding what to do about it on Monday
Or you could leave until Monday. Even headteachers deserve a weekend break.
Thank you all so much for replying. DD was in bits yesterday and took a lot of calming down. I rang my mum to take DD into the house while I waited with the police and as soon a she was out of view I broke down. I've neverhad an accident before and to hit a child is horrifying. I barely slept last night for playing it over in my head.
I will speak to the head on Monday about it. Thank you all for being so kind x
in reverse order of importance: emails don't have to be dealt with the second they arrive.
and OP be kind to yourself - your careful driving meant that this was no worse.
What happened was an accident. In no way your fault. It must have been a terrible shock to you.
Whats happening to your DD is bullying. There's no dressing it up. It makes me wonder has he heard adults talking.
You need to speak to the school.
I agree that HT do need a weekend break though. Plus there's not much he//she could do until Monday in any case.
I know this isn't really the question you asked but when you've had a chance to deal with the school, you need to inform your car insurance company (if you haven't already done so).
Something similar happened to me and I didn't think to notify my insurer until quite a while later. They will prob increase your premium (mine went up by £80) but I'm glad I let them know as the other person involved is now suing me...
I would email the head and ask him /her to deal with it. And provide a chat about road safety.
Oh I didn't even think about the car insurance, the Police didn't mention it but I guess it seems obvious now. I'll give the insurance company a call on the weekend. Thanks for the heads up Pete :-(
I really feel for you, OP, even without the school incident. Something similar happened to me when I was 18 and driving a motorbike. The child was absolutely fine as I marginally avoided him but I had an accident braking fast and I am still recovering from the psychological trauma. It took me decades to be a confident driver again and I still avoid driving as much as I can.
I would support making the school aware of the situation. It's also a good opportunity for them to reinforce messages around road safety.
email the head. (it is his/her responsibility when they pick it up.)
Sorry Frogs, I know it's not what you need right now but I also didn't really think about informing them, I think because it wasn't an accident involving another car IYSWIM.
Good luck with the school and don't be too hard on yourself, accidents happen and as a PP said, it was your careful driving that prevented this from being a lot worse.
Crikey, how awful for you and dd. I'm so sorry.
These things DO happen. My then 2yo ran in front of a van a few months ago. He was fine, the van was doing about 2mph through a crowed pedestrian area.
I wasn't holding onto him, he ran off, didn't see what was in front of him and bang.
Lots of gasps and people wanted to help but he was just a bit surprised and cried for a moment.
It could have been terrible, but the poor bloke driving could not have done anything other than staying at a very slow speed with hazard lights on etc which he was already doing.
In fact he stopped a split second before impact.
I took it upon myself to reassure him several times that it was not his fault at all. No one called the police thankfully.
I hope he isn't feeling as bad as you are
I would definetly write an email now. I'm sure the head teacher will have loads of things to worry about on Monday morning and may appreciate some warning of an issue they will have to deal with quickly. Also you want this to be dealt with ASAP so as not to effect your daughter, and for the son to vent his worry/shock for his sister in an appropriate context. It is not ok to bully your child about this. Put it in perspective- even if, god forbid, the child you hit actually was injured, because of your bad driving it would be grossly unfair for your daughter to be hounded out of school because of your mistake. This is not the case here, anyway, an accident and no injury. Good luck you must feel so powerless in this situation.
To be honest I would have informed the school about the accident anyway.
My children witnessed a car overturning & hurtling towards us (luckily it stopped & the driver was unhurt) but 6 years later the still talk about it - it shook them up
Definitely speak to the head making sure that the head knows that the police/parents accept it is not your fault.
The head should deal with this, it is typical kids though with Chinese whispers and over egging of what happened.
I hope you are okay too. We hit someone going as slow as you a few years ago and it really shook us all up (poor dd wet herself although she was only little at the time)
I had baby dd in the back and got out and shouted at the secondary age pupil out of total shock and fright once I realised they were ok for running out in the road. I apologised after but it was awful.
Hugs to you, OP. It's not your fault but I can see how down you must have felt over it. Hugs to your DD too. Other kids can be cruel and the brother may have just been enjoying the limelight and the novelty of a real life 'story' to tell.
Not the same thing, but this week in a lunchtime club I was running, a child broke her wrist during a game. I had assessed every risk and it was all safe, it was just an accident. Didn't stop me feeling utterly dreadful about it though (still do), I hate the thought that I may have caused harm a child in any way.
Be kind to yourself over the weekend.
Right well I've just got off the phone to tthe insurance company and they couldn't have been nicer. It's been logged on my policy and won't affect my premium.
I'll write an email over the weekend for the head. I've just remembered I have a training course in work all next week so I won't be able to go and see her in person.
Thank you all again for your advice and kind words.
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