A Texas dad says his two young children, ages 3 and 4, were waiting outside his car when he started the vehicle with just one foot inside, deputies said, according to the Houston Chronicle.
He told the Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office that he had turned the car on to begin cooling it down, KPRC reported.
While turning the air conditioner on, though, the dad said the car was knocked into gear, deputies said, according to KPRC.
After the car was put into gear, the dad said it backed up and the open driver’s door hit his 3-year-old toddler — pushing her onto the ground, the TV station reported.
The sheriff’s office was called to the home on Logan Creek in Sugar Land, Texas, at about 10:20 a.m. Tuesday, KPRC reported.
When the responding deputies and EMS crews got to the home, they found that Dia Nebhnani had been ran over, KTRK reported.
She was run over by the car’s front tires, Major Chad Norvell said, according to the Chronicle.
Video from the scene, published by KPRC, shows a white Mercedes in the middle of the residential street with a pink backpack on the hood of the car.
First responders worked to save Dia, but the preschooler died at the scene, KTRK reported.
The sheriff’s office is working to confirm this “sequence of events” through surveillance videos, KTRK reported, “but stress that they don’t believe the father was lying.”
It was originally reported by the sheriff’s office that the 3-year-old was killed when her 4-year-old sibling accidentally put the car into gear while the dad was in the garage, according to the station.
Officials then cited a “language barrier between the father and deputies as a reason for the change in the (story),” the Chronicle reported.