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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Mother charged after car hits child

Thursday, June 26, 2003

The mother of a 2-year-old Horseshoe Bend girl was charged June 19 for endangering the welfare of a minor.

Rachel Bennett, 23, is scheduled to appear in court July 15 in connection with an accident involving her minor children. Her daughter, Haley Alberson, was struck by a car after Bennett left three small children, ages 2, 1 and 11 months in a vehicle June 12 with the engine running.

Alberson exited the vehicle after her 1-year-old sibling climbed from a car seat to the front seat of the vehicle and put the car in gear. Officers learned the child was able to get himself out of his car seat anytime he wanted in spite of an extra strap on the car seat. The vehicle began to roll and struck Alberson.

When patrolmen Sonny Gerringer and Jim Griffin arrived at the scene they found the front end of a four-door 1988 Mercury Grand Marquis against the bed of a 1992 Nissan pickup truck parked in the yard at 1205 North Bend Drive.

Authorities found two small boys in the car. Bennett was hysterical and screaming for authorities to get her children out of the car, Gerringer said. She told officers her daughter had been injured in an accident and was in the house, Gerringer reported.

Paramedics arrived on the scene and transported the child to Fulton County Hospital.

She received treatment for three fractured ribs on her right side, numerous abrasions and bruises and a spot on the back of her head the size of a silver dollar that hair and skin had been completely torn from. She also had marks on the side of her face that were consistent with tire marks. She was released from the hospital the following day.

Officers determined that Alberson was outside of the vehicle when it started rolling back out of the driveway. She was under the right front end of the vehicle when it rolled over her, Gerringer said. The right front tire pressed her head against the edge of the concrete driveway, he said.

Gerringer said prior to the accident Bennett had parked the car and left the motor running in neutral gear before she entered her house. She had left a 14-year-old girl to watch the children, he said.

Mitchell said he thinks the children were left in the car for a only a few minutes, during which the baby sitter had gone back into the house on two different occasions.

A neighbor told officers he heard screaming so he ran outside. He saw the vehicle roll forward through the ditch and cross the driveway at 1203 North Bend Drive. The car continued to roll downhill until it hit the truck at 1205 North Bend Drive.

The car ran through some bushes in a neighboring yard and brushed against some small trees. The right front section of the vehicle hit a tree in the yard causing most of the damage to the car.

"Hitting the tree slowed the forward movement of the vehicle enough to prevent the pickup truck from being pushed into the mobile at 1205," Gerringer said.Bennett's car received around $800 in damage, Horseshoe Bend Police Chief Fred Mitchell said. Estimated damages to the truck totaled $1,500, he added.Mitchell said the Department of Human Services will probably investigate the matter.

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