1:00 PM EDT, July 15, 2011
Summer is a time for freedom for kids, but it's also the peak time for a type of accident that is any parent's nightmare. Every year, roughly 50 kids are killed when they're run over in their own driveway.
Karen Pauly, mother of Jack, is all too familiar with the heartbreaking ordeal because she accidentally ran over her 18-month-old son.
"I couldn't cry. It just didn't seem real," Pauly told INSIDE EDITION.
It all began in a small Iowa town as a fun mother-daughter day out. Pauly left Jack in her husband's arms.
She placed her daughter in her car seat, checked the mirrors, put her SUV in reverse, and started to back up.
What she didn't realize, however, was her husband had put Jack down and that the toddler had made a beeline for the door. Somehow, the 18-month-old managed to get outside and make a dash for his mom's car backing out of the driveway.
Pauly didn't see him, and suddenly heard a loud thump. There, she saw a horrifying sight: Jack was lifeless on the ground.
"My tire totally went over him," Pauly remembered.
The hysterical mom screamed for her husband, who called 9-1-1. He is still too grief-stricken to talk about the day their happy family was shattered forever.
The boy was airlifted to the hospital, where doctors fought desperately to save him. But tragically, Jack died.
It's a tragedy that happens all too often in America, especially if you drive an SUV or minivan.
With a sedan, the blind spot behind the car is 10 ft. But the blind spot increases significantly–to 19 ft–for an SUV.
Many cars and trucks these days are equipped with rear facing cameras to help drivers see what's behind them.
But if you drive an older model, you can buy an inexpensive camera that attaches to your rear bumper.
Since her son's tragic death, Pauly has bought a new car equipped with a rear view camera.
Next to his big sister's room, Jack's room is just the way he left it. And Pauly has a warning to all parents everywhere:
"It can really happen to you. Something this awful that seems impossible, it is possible," she said.