In a heartbreaking incident, a 36-year-old mother, later identified as Tiffany, unintentionally ran over her 9-year-old son, Julian, while dropping him off at school, according to court records.
Prosecutors revealed that as Tiffany attempted to free Julian’s grip from the vehicle’s door handle in the school parking lot, she accidentally struck him, resulting in multiple fractures and a skull fracture.
Reportedly, the third-grade student followed his mother’s car after being dropped off and approached the vehicle. Despite Tiffany’s instructions to return inside, Julian clung to the door handle. Instead of stopping, Tiffany accelerated. Investigators determined that Tiffany was aware that her son continued to walk alongside the car.
Prosecutors further disclosed that Tiffany admitted to maneuvering the steering wheel left and right in an effort to loosen Julian’s grip while accelerating the vehicle. Julian held on to the door for approximately 50 yards before losing his grip and falling beneath the rear tire, which ran over his head and body.
Regrettably, the child sustained severe injuries, including multiple fractures and a fractured skull, which could have been fatal. Remarkably, Julian survived but remained in a coma for a week. His injuries necessitated ongoing care and physical therapy.
Tiffany faced charges of second-degree child abuse and reckless driving causing serious injury. During the courtroom proceedings, County Circuit Court Judge Benson expressed his disapproval, stating, “It is simply inexcusable what you did.” The judge emphasized the significant suffering Julian had endured, explaining that the rear wheel ran over his entire body and head.
Before sentencing Tiffany, Judge Benson listened to the testimony of the boy’s father, John, who lamented his inability to prevent such a tragedy despite numerous attempts. John revealed that he had not seen his son for five years before witnessing him in a coma at the hospital.
He had persistently attempted to intervene due to Tiffany’s instability, irrational behavior, and recklessness. The boy’s father also alerted detectives to his concerns about Tiffany’s well-being. In defense of her client, Tiffany’s attorney, Anna, portrayed her as a loving parent who provided stability for her children and prioritized her son’s recovery.
To some extent, Judge Benson seemingly acknowledged Tiffany’s role as the primary caregiver and the stability she provided to her children. Consequently, after Tiffany pleaded guilty to reckless driving, she received a 30-day jail sentence, which she was allowed to serve on weekends to accommodate her son’s medical appointments.
Although Judge Benson initially imposed a six-month sentence, all but the 30 days were suspended, and Tiffany was placed on five years of probation. As part of a plea agreement, the charge of second-degree child abuse was dismissed. Reports indicate that Tiffany retained custody of her children, including Julian’s twin sister, and continued to care for Julian, taking him for treatment at the time of her sentencing.
Perhaps this influenced Judge Benson’s apparently lenient sentence. Expressing remorse, Tiffany acknowledged the lifelong guilt she would bear for causing her son’s debilitating injuries. She expressed her unwavering commitment to being there for her son’s recovery and supporting him daily, as she had been doing.