Toddler in Ocala struck and killed by grandmother's minivan

OCALA, Fla. (WCJB)-- UPDATE: 11/6 -- Ocala Police are investigating the death of an 18-month-old girl after her grandmother hit her backing out of a driveway.

"This is something we would never wish upon any family and we can't even imagine the tragedy here and what they're going through,” said Public Information Officer with the Ocala Police Department, Corie Byrd.

But there are people trying to make sure more children stay safe.

According to advocates with KidsAndCars, this scenario is very common.

At least 50 children are backed over every week because a driver could not see them.

"Any time a vehicle is being moved, somebody needs to have hands-on that child at all times. All it takes is a split second for that child to get away,” said Director of KidsAndCars Amber Rollins.

But it's more than just family that should be responsible, she said.

"One thing that everybody can do who has a vehicle is to install a backup camera in your car if you don't already have one. You can order a backup camera online for a very reasonable cost and it can be installed in any vehicle and the truth of the matter is you can't avoid hitting something if you can't see it,” Rollins added

Officials say, they are investigating the Ocala incident as an accident and no arrests will be made at this time.
An 18-month-old child in Ocala was killed Monday, November, 4th after it was struck by a 2006 Chevy Uplander driven by the grandmother, Joleen Ellis, in the driveway of their home on Southwest 2nd Street.

According to Ocala Police, Ellis was trying to move the minivan to allow another car in the driveway to exit. Ellis did not know that the child was in the driveway, ultimately hitting the child.

Once authorities arrived, the child was unresponsive and taken by EMS to a local hospital where the child was pronounced dead. Police have not determined how the child came to be in the same area of the car before Ellis moved it. The incident is being investigated as an accident by OPD.