Mother, daughter’s close call; holidays can make for deadly parking lots

ST. GEORGE — Imagine leaving a store and heading to your car, cellphone in one hand looking for coupons for your next destination and your little daughter’s hand in the other. Now imagine your daughter lets go, bends down out of the line of sight of a driver backing out of a parking spot and is nearly run over.

Michelle Andes of St. George points to a picture of her daughter that was almost hit by a car yesterday in a parking lot, St. George, Utah, Dec. 9, 2015 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News
Michelle Andes of St. George points to a picture of her daughter that was almost hit by a car yesterday in a parking lot, St. George, Utah, Dec. 9, 2015 | Photo by Sheldon Demke, St. George News

It happened yesterday at Target. Michelle Andes of St. George said she was there with her 4-year-old daughter when the girl saw a flower on the ground and bent down to pick it up, not noticing a car backing up out of a parking spot heading right for her.

“I was looking at my phone, looking for some coupons and I just had this feeling that I needed to put my phone right back in my pocket,” Andes said. “I did, and looked up, and as I looked up, there was a car and its bumper was just right towards her head.”

Andes said she rushed to her daughter while screaming at the driver to stop. She was able to shield her daughter from the bumper but in the process was hit by the car on her right shoulder.

Parking Lot Driving Tips from AAA in Utah, undated | Graphic courtesy of AAA, St. George News
Parking Lot Driving Tips from AAA in Utah | Graphic courtesy of AAA, St. George News | Click on image to enlarge

“I can’t blame the lady (the driver of the car), as she (her daughter) was so small there is no way she could have seen her,” Andes said.

The driver stopped, Andes said. No police report was made.

Parking lots can be dangerous any time of the year, but especially during the holiday season while shoppers are rushed and distracted. The AAA office in Salt Lake City passed along some tips for driving in parking lots (see sidebar).

“I hear stories from friends who have had incidents like that,” Andes said. “And I think people are just, especially over the holidays, going too fast.”

Andes said she broke one of her firm rules in the parking lot.

“Hold your daughter’s hand. That’s a rule we have in our house and for one second I just let her let go of my hand. And now I know I’m never going to let her do that again.”

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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  • DRT December 9, 2015 at 7:57 pm

    Oh lord, how can ANYBODY be that short sighted and self centered. Lady, you not only are walking where vehicles are moving, you have the responsibility of a little kid as well. You can get down on your knees tonight, and thank God that he was, at least in this case, “watching out for fools and little children!”
    Stuff that phone in your purse until you get someplace safe. Are you really in such a hurry that you will multi-task and put your daughter, (not to mention yourself,) in danger?

  • Rainbow Dash December 9, 2015 at 11:08 pm

    You should make a second rule: Don’t scroll through your cell phone as you walk through a crowded parking lot with your 4 year old kid. I don’t care how good the deals are; none of them are worth your kids life.

  • Common Sense December 10, 2015 at 6:18 am

    I feel sorry for this kid. Unfortunately these are the children that get snatched up by bad guys because mommy is to busy on her phone. My children are almost grown and I still don’t take my eyes off them in a parking lot.

  • .... December 10, 2015 at 10:25 am


  • theone December 10, 2015 at 11:37 am

    And here you have the reason why avoidable accidents happen in the first place, distraction. I have no sympathy for those who walk in traffic of any kind without being focused and alert. Assuming drivers can see you is blind stupidity.

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