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Questions lingering in 4-year-old Chickasha girl's death

BY JOHNNY JOHNSON Published: December 20, 2008
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CHICKASHA — Police and investigators with the state Department of Human Services are trying to figure out how a 4-year-old girl was killed when the car she had been left alone in apparently rolled out of a driveway Thursday evening and struck a tree.

Police are not releasing much information about the accident, including the child’s name or the name of her mother, who they say left the girl in the car in the family’s driveway in the 1300 block of S 14 Street.

Assistant Police Chief Elip Moore said he could not talk about the girl’s injuries or discuss how a car rolling into a tree might cause death.

"We can tell you that a 4-year-old was left unattended in a vehicle for a period of time, and the vehicle disengaged, causing it to roll on a fairly graded driveway that angles down. The vehicle went out of park, rolled down, struck a tree and fatally wounded the child,” Moore said.

Police also are not talking about what the mother was doing at the time of the accident, why she left the child in the vehicle or how long the girl had been in the car. Moore did confirm DHS has been contacted about the accident.

"We called everybody,” he said.

The accident was reported to police about 5:20 p.m., and neighbors said emergency responders, including an ambulance and firefighters, went to the house the family had moved into a few weeks ago. But neighbors said they had no idea a child had died.

"It didn’t look that bad,” neighbor Monica Phillips said. "The bumper was bent, but I had no idea a child was dead until I read it in the paper.”

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