Florida Highway Patrol: Apopka teen backs SUV in family driveway into toddler; killing her

Trooper: 16-year-old didn't know 2-year-old was behind the vehicle

Toddler death in Apopka, Florida / Headline Surfer / HeadlineSurfer.comAPOPKA -- A toddler was struck and killed Wednesday afternoon by a 16-year-old relative who didn't know she was behind the SUV he backed up in the family driveway in the 300 block of Avalone Drive, the Florida Highway Patrol said.

While backing the 2000 Ford, the boy struck the 2-year-old with the left rear tire, running her over in the process, a trooper reported. the Florida Highway Patrol said.

The victim, Amararis Martinez, was rushed by paramedics to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando where she succumbed to critical head injuries less than an hour after the 3:20 p.m. accident, FHP spokeswoman Sgt. Kim Montes said.

The teen had backed up the SUV after mowing the lawn so he could clean the driveway not knowing the child had wandered from the side of the house, according to a press release.

Exactly who was responsible for the child wasn't mentioned in the release, though an investigation is ongoing. Headline Surfer is not naming the driver because of his age and the uncertainty over the circumstances.

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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories narly eveenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in Wst Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.