Mother injured after child puts car in reverse, police say

A Chelmsford mother is in serious condition after her 9-year-old ran her over with a car, according to police. The accident happened around 10 a.m. Sunday.

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The 37-year-old mother was unloading her car when the child put it in reverse. The car ran over the woman before rolling across North Road with the 9-year-old still inside. The car eventually came to a stop after crashing into a stone wall.

According to Chelmsford Police Chief James Spinney, a preliminary investigation suggests the child accidentally shifted the car into reverse. The mother was unloading the vehicle and tried to dive for the brake pedal but was pinned and then run over by the vehicle.

"It appears to be a very tragic and unfortunate incident where a 9-year-old child somehow ended up behind the wheel of a vehicle," said Sgt. Jason Poor, of Chelmsford police. "The mother got caught inside the open driver’s door as the car was backing up and was knocked down by the door, and it appears from our investigation that she may have been struck by the car."

The mother is currently recovering from a head injury at a Boston hospital and is expected to be OK. Her son wasn't hurt after he and the car hit the stone wall.

"This appears to be a terrible accident. The mother sustained serious injuries but is expected to survive at this time," Spinney said in a release. "Thankfully, the child was not also injured as the vehicle rolled across the busy roadway."

The neighborhood where that family lives was in shock after the terrible mistake.

"Unbelievable," said Holly Cerullo, a neighbor. "Just sad and hard to hear."

Friends say the family has lived in the neighborhood for more than a decade. They have twins who could often be found playing in their front yard.

"We are close," said Niti Patel, a friend of the impacted family. "Usually my kids and their kids play together. My kids are teenagers, but they are really good, they are really good people.

"It's sad because I see every day they're playing."

Police are continuing to investigate the situation.

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