The man stepped into his parked SUV, his headlights flashing as he unlocked the car. On the other side of the vehicle, a 2-year-old girl in a white dress toddled a few feet ahead of her mother.
The mother was staring at her phone and didn’t realize the vehicle was about to start moving. The driver didn’t realize a toddler – who was too short to see from the driver’s seat of the tall SUV – was wandering right in front of his vehicle.
The driver accelerated forward in the street in southern China, the vehicle striking the young girl and the front passenger wheel driving over her. The woman looked up from her phone, but not in time to help her daughter. She banged her hand against the car and the driver stopped, but the damage was already done.
The girl died from her injuries, according to Xinhua. Her name was Tutu, according to Chinese news reports.
Police ruled the driver was not at fault since the toddler was in his blind zone.
A surveillance video posted on Oct. 20 captured the whole incident, and that video prompted outrage on Chinese social media.
“It is a bloody lesson,” one person wrote on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter. “Everyone should be alerted not to play with a smartphone while walking. God knows how regretful the mother is.”
This mother isn’t the first person to have to learn that lesson the hard way. A 2-year-old boy ran into the center of a road while his mother was engrossed in her phone in east China in April, accoring to Xinhua. The boy was struck by a car and died. Another 2-year-old boy in central China was fatally hit by a car in a parking zone in August while his mother was checking her phone.
“Heart-wrenching!” the Shandong provincial prosecutor’s office, a local government agency, wrote on Weibo. “Put down your phone. Save the children!”
“You have to attend to your child every second,” another user wrote. “They don’t have a sense of what’s dangerous.”