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Man in SUV backs up, kills his young child in southwest Denver driveway

DENVER — A family is coping with a horrible tragedy after their 2-year-old son was killed when the father accidentally backed over him with an SUV on Wednesday.

Police say the child’s father was backing up his SUV when the child ran behind it and was accidentally hit in the driveway near South Utica Street and West Harvard Avenue.

The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner on Thursday identified the boy as Justin Thai, 2. It said the boy died of blunt force trauma.

Police tape blocked off the area for several hours until they wrapped up their investigation. Investigators ruled it an accident and it doesn’t appear the father will be charged.

Like many in the neighborhood, one woman says her heart goes out to the boy’s family.

“Just concerned about the family,” Josephine Gomez said. “Losing the baby has to be really hard.”

“He was so full of life,” said Kim White, the victim’s grandmother. “I used to call him my little lumberjack.”

White and her family has gone through a similar tragedy. In November 2012, 2-year-old Bram Venn was hit and killed by a driver in the Aspen Grove shopping center. The woman behind the wheel told police she could not see the toddler.

In hopes of preventing similar tragedies, safety regulators have ordered automakers to install backup cameras in vehicles built in and after May 2018.

Each year it’s estimated some 15,000 people are hurt nationwide.