Md. toddler dies after being pinned by garage door at her home

April 5, 2013

A 3-year-old girl died Friday after being pinned under an automatic garage door at a home in the Waldorf area, Charles County sheriff’s officials said.

The girl had slipped out of the house in the 2900 block of Eutaw Forest Drive and into the garage just before 4 p.m., said Diane Richardson, a sheriff’s spokeswoman.

Investigators think that she might have pushed the door’s control button and then tried to run out of the garage, authorities said.

An adult in the house heard the door and within minutes went to check, according to authorities.

The door apparently struck the girl’s back and pinned her, Richardson said.

Based on a preliminary investigation, the girl may have died of asphyxiation, the spokeswoman said. An autopsy is scheduled.

Many garage doors have safety features to keep them from closing when something is in the way. Authorities said they will look into the door’s mechanism.

Clarence Williams is the night police reporter for The Washington Post and has spent the better part of 13 years standing next to crime scene tape, riding in police cars or waking officials in the middle of night to gather information about breaking news in and around Washington.
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