TRILBY — As a father backed his car onto his driveway Thursday afternoon, his toddler walked toward the car.
The dad, Andrew F. Pope Jr., 26, didn't see his child — an 18-month-old with his father's name — and continued to reverse toward the Trilby Road home. The right rear tire of his 1992 Mercury sedan drove over young Andrew F. Pope III, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Pope "was unsure of what had occurred" and drove forward — unintentionally running over his son a second time.
The child had serious injuries and was flown to Tampa General Hospital. Steve Gaskins, a spokesman for FHP, said the child is in critical condition.
There will not be an investigation into the accident unless the young boy passes away.
According to records searches by the St. Petersburg Times, it appears the child's mother is Shecoya Hall, who was listed as a witness to the accident.
She and Pope had another child this past January, named Ahzhjah Sade. Pope was an All-County football player for Pasco High School.
Andrew Pope was also a cousin of Garion Pope, another stellar athlete in track and football at Pasco High. Garion Pope died in 2003 at age 20 in a single-car accident outside Dade City.
He left behind a 6-month- old son.
Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this story. Erin Sullivan can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 909-4609.