Devastated Mother Was Trying To Turn On Air-Conditioner When Daughter Was Run Over
The pregnant mother of Charlotte Smithers has told how she was simply trying to turn on her car's air-conditioning, when it rolled back and fatally struck the three-year-old outside her daycare.
Speaking to the Daily Mail Australia, Amanda Furner also revealed she's living in a motel, because she can't face going home to see her daughter's empty bed after the tragic accident.
Three-year-old Charlotte died on October 14 when she was crushed by her mother's car outside Kiddy Place Learning Centre in Epping, north of Melbourne. Furner had already loaded her three other children into the car at the time and had started the engine to get the air-conditioner going.
"When we came out the kids all got into the car, except for Charlotte," Furner told Daily Mail Australia.
"She was waiting for me to put her in... I went to the driver's door and turned the air conditioning on first, because it was a hot day.
She claims the handbrake of her Ford Territory failed to stop the car from rolling back.
"I know 100 per cent the car was in park with the handbrake on, but when I went from my door to Charlotte's door to put her in the car, it rolled back."
Despite the best efforts of staff who performed CPR on Charlotte until paramedics arrived, she couldn't be saved.
Charlotte's father, Adam Smithers, had previously issued an emotional tribute to his daughter.
"She was a really bubbly outgoing girl who would light up the room wherever she went ... I'm devastated my little baby is gone … I don't know what to feel," he said the day after her death.
Victoria Police have described Charlotte's death as a "terrible incident".