Child's Driveway Death Caused by Vehicle Malfunctions, Investigators Say

The accident was blamed on failed brakes and a transmission that didn't work.

The Florida Highway Patrol blamed vehicle malfunctions, including failing brakes, on a recent accident that killed a 4-year-old girl in her driveway.

The Florida Highway Patrol's investigation found that the 1992 Lexus ES300 was in poor mechanical condition, which contributed to the crash that killed Daisy Martinez, 4, as she played in her family's yard.

Daisy Martinez had been playing in the yard of her family's home, in the 2500 block of 38th Avenue East, when the accident happened.

Gracie Moreno, the girl's mother, and another family member first tried to push the car closer to the house in the 2500 block of 38th Avenue East, according to the FHP report.

When they could not push the Lexus, Moreno sat in the driver`s seat and turned the wheels to the left.

She started the engine just as her daughter Daisy walked in front of the vehicle. The Lexus lunged forward and to the left, striking the child. 

The car continued traveling east across the property, striking a fence, gate, and two utility poles before coming to final rest.

The Highway Patrol determined that the Lexus had weak brakes and that by pushing the brake pedal to the floor, the brakes were not adequate enough to stop the vehicle when it was in drive.

In addition, the transmission would not go in reverse and the neutral safety switch was inoperable.

When starting the vehicle in any gear, the vehicle would move forward; with the weak brakes, it would continue forward without stopping until the engine was turned off, investigators said.



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