Parents Speak Out After a Distracted Driver in Playground Parking Lot Hit & Kills Their Toddler

Allie Estelle
CBS Austin

The parents of a 2-year-old girl are sharing their story after their toddler was struck and killed by a distracted driver on September 28. Chris and Jamie White of Round Rock, Texas, say they know that nothing will bring back their beloved daughter, Allie Estelle, but they are sharing the difficult story in hopes they can help prevent other parents from suffering the same pain.

  • It was an otherwise happy Sunday when the Whites' entire world changed forever.

    Chris had just arrived at the park with Allie and her two older brothers, when the boys ran off to a nearby soccer field, NTD reported. Meanwhile, Chris helped his little girl out of her car seat and began applying sunscreen on her before letting her go play.

    Speaking with CBS Austin, Chris later said that he only took his eyes off Allie a second when he went back into the car to put the sunscreen away -- but those few seconds proved fatal.

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  • Allie reportedly began wandering off across the parking lot, toward one of her brothers on the soccer field.

    "As she was running, I saw the car coming really quickly from the main road that didn't slow down, and I started screaming and ran after her,” her father recalled. “And within a matter of two seconds, my poor baby was kind of knocked over with the front fender. And I was screaming and telling them to stop. I was reaching to grab her, [and then] the back of the vehicle went right over her."

    The driver of the car that hit Allie had been on a cell phone and was driving quickly, he said. She only stopped driving a few feet after hitting the little girl.

    "Then the lady came out of the car on her cell phone and didn't appear to even know what she had done,” Chris said. “I think they thought they ran over a soccer ball."

  • The father has been left traumatized by what he saw, and is haunted by the vivid memory of his little girl's last moments.

    "Every time I see it happen, and I replay it. It's very painful,” he said.

    Jamie, who had not gone with the rest of her family to the park that day, rushed over after hearing of her little girl's accident, and was bereft at the scene. 

    "I didn't know what to do other than just fall into my knees praying,” she said. “And everybody in the whole parking lot, all the firefighters and police officers, anybody that wasn't resuscitating was down on their knees, coaches, players just praying over her."

  • Now the parents are sharing precious memories of their daughter, in hopes that her story will remind other drivers to be more cautious.

    "She was tiny, but she was so strong and so beautiful,” her father shared.

    "She had this sparkle in her eyes from the moment she was born, that you could just see," her mother added. "And you immediately fell in love with her because she was just so bright and so full of life and full of compassion and love."

    The grieving parents hope that by coming forward, other drivers will be reminded to put down their phones when they're behind the wheel. 

    "Maybe we could save other babies from having to go through this, and other parents from having to feel this heartache,” Jamie said. 

    "If we could help people change a little of their habits to be safer, then there's positive coming out of this,” Chris added.

  • Chris is also asking the city to implement safeguards, such as a speed bump, at the park parking lot entrances to remind drivers to slow down.

    "If there had been a speed bump anywhere in the parking lot coming off the main road, they would've had to have hit the speed bump and they would've damaged their car and not hit my baby,” he explained

    "I want to talk to the city and try to find out how we can do something," he said, "at least to prevent this tragedy from happening to other children."