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Huntington Beach Boy, 1, Killed After Mother Backs Up Minivan

October 30, 2003|David Haldane | Times Staff Writer

A Huntington Beach baby died Wednesday after his mother accidentally ran over him in the family's driveway while leaving with several other children for school, police said.

Ty Matsushima, who had celebrated his 1st birthday this month, was pronounced dead en route to Huntington Beach Hospital after the 8:15 a.m. accident in the 16600 block of Wanderer Lane, said Lt. Janet Perez, a spokeswoman for the Huntington Beach Police Department.

"It was just a terrible accident," Perez said. "Obviously, this is a tremendous tragedy for the family involved, but it was also very difficult for the officers" who responded.

According to Perez, Ty's mother -- JoAnn Matsushima -- was about to back her minivan out the driveway when she realized that she had forgotten something in the garage. Inside the van were three of Matsushima's five children, as well as another child.

Her two other children -- including Ty, her youngest -- were inside the house accompanied by a nanny.

The nanny left the house briefly to help Matsushima get the forgotten items, Perez said. It was then that Ty, unseen, apparently left the house and reached the driveway.

His mother, unaware of his presence, backed out and ran over him, Perez said.

A woman answering the telephone at the family home said she would have no comment.

Perez said, "Both the mother and the nanny are very traumatized. In my 20-year career, I only remember this happening two other times."

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