FARGO — A Detroit Lakes, Minn., toddler is recovering Thursday, Nov. 18, at Sanford's Children's Hospital after an accident in the family's driveway.
Three-year-old Layden Hedman of Detroit Lakes is recovering from the accident so quickly, he may go home soon.
Layden's dad, Chad Hedman, had just returned from deer hunting Sunday, Nov. 14, and was unloading the pickup truck in the driveway.
"I would just say, don't let your guard down when you got someone so young, a toddler, following you around in the driveway, when you are putting stuff away," Chad said. "Make sure he is the first thing on your mind, and getting your stuff put away i(s) not."
There were plans to visit grandparents, so Chad got in the truck to simply pull the truck out of the way.
"I put it in drive and drove forward and I heard a scream," Chad recalled. "I wasn't sure if it was on the radio. I stopped and wasn't sure what happened."
Chad hopped out of the truck and what he feared most laid right in front of him in the snow.
"First thing, I just saw him there and I thought, 'Uh-oh, I ran him over,'" Chad said. "I didn't know how bad it was, or where he was. I just heard that scream. I went over to him and he was laying in the snow, his mouth was open and he wasn't saying anything."
It would be hours after the accident that Layden, in the hospital, told his dad he was afraid of being left behind and missing that trip to Grandma's. So when the pickup started moving forward, he moved in front of the truck.
"He was thinking we are going to Grandma and Grandpa's, and when he saw me hop in the pickup, he thought, 'oh, he is backing out to go to Grandma's. So I need to tell him because I want to come with.' So we think he walked around in front (of the truck)."
For Chad, it took a day or two to sink in, this moment so many of us have feared.
"God gave us a pass on this one," Chad said.
Layden only suffered an injured spleen. He came out of the accident with no broken bones or head injury. Chad says he needs nothing more for the holidays than having his 3-year-old son about to come home. He could leave Sanford Children's Hospital as soon as Friday.
"Probably the most thankful we have ever been," Chad said. "Very fortunate, very blessed. There were angels hanging out in that driveway that day."
Click the links below for more information regarding child safety around moving vehicles: