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Child hit by mom’s car dies

By Mary Spicuzza Special to the Daily Planet
Friday September 07, 2001

EMERYVILLE – Prithviraj Singh said his 3-year-old son cannot understand what happened to the boy’s only sister, Eveneet Deol. The 5-year-old Deol, who was struck by her mother’s car last Friday morning after being dropped off for school at Anna Yates Elementary, died at Childrens’ Hospital Oakland Wednesday afternoon 

“When we tell him what happened, he says that she’s still in the hospital,” Singh said. “I tell him that she’s gone to God now. But he says no, no, she’s at the hospital.” 

The Singh family decided to remove Deol from life support on Wednesday, after test results showed she had suffered severe brain damage from the accident. She died at 3 p.m., on what should have been her third day of school.  

The accident occurred in front of the school’s 41st Street entrance at 8:30 a.m. just after Deol left her mother’s car and started to run around in front of it. Her mom got out of the car to give her a hug, not realizing she hadn’t shifted the vehicle into park. When the car rolled forward and hit the girl, her mother panicked and rushed back into the car to put it in park. Instead, she accidentally shifted it into reverse and it rolled into Deol a second time, trapping her head and shoulder between a front tire and the road. Parents dropping off their children and other witnesses tried to help by lifting the car, pulling Deol out from under the tire, and performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation. 

“It was pretty traumatic for everybody that was involved to see somebody so small in that kind of condition,” Officer Michael Allen, who arrived at the scene shortly after hearing the 911 call, said. “And then to find out that her mother was the one that accidentally ran her over.” 

Yesterday Allen was guiding traffic on 43rd Street in front of the 450-student elementary school. He sat in the center of the road on his motorcycle, making sure motorists stopped before driving through the large crosswalk. 

At the orientation held before the first day of school, Anna Yates staff members told families to drop their children off only at the 43rd Street entrance because it has a large crosswalk and is safer for children. Principal Anakarita Allen said that she sent out reminder letters after Friday’s accident and again this week. She said that because Deol was hit on 41st Street, most of the students did not see the accident. 

“As a staff, we didn’t want to upset the students. But we had a crisis intervention unit that went around to the classrooms,” Allen said. “We talked mostly about traffic safety.”  

Allen said many of the parents are more traumatized than the kids, and that counseling is still available for them and for students. 

“Because of the way it happened, this is very sensitive to parents,” she said. “We’re going to let them decide what they want for their kids.” 

Prithviraj Singh said that other families have been extremely supportive. He said that when his daughter was in the hospital the family was surrounded by friends, well-wishers, and those who had helped in rescue attempts. Singh, a UNIX systems administrator, said that he is taking a break from work to help plan his daughter’s prayer service and cremation. 

“That’s the only daughter I had,” he said.