Dec. 16 Update: Irving police say the driver, the child's mother, is now facing charges in this case. Click here for more.
An 8-month-old girl was killed after being struck by a car when she fell out of a moving vehicle in north Irving Sunday morning, authorities say.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner's Office identified the victim as 8-month-old Kassidy Smith.
Irving police said the child's mother was turning from N. MacArthur Boulevard onto westbound Ranchview Drive at about 10:30 a.m. when somehow the back, right passenger-side door opened and Smith fell out of the car and into the roadway.
The child was then fatally struck by another vehicle that was either behind the child's vehicle or in the turn lane next to the victim's vehicle, according to witnesses.
The driver of the second vehicle, believed to be a black sedan, did not stop after the collision. Irving Police Public Information Officer Robert Reeves said Monday it's very possible the driver didn't know they hit anything and so police are hesitant to classify the crash as a hit-and-run. Police are asking anyone in the area who thinks they may have hit something to come forward.
The latest news from around North Texas.
A driver in a car behind the woman's car said they saw the child fall out of the vehicle.
“They saw the child fall out, they thought it was a baby doll that was falling out of the car,” Reeves said. “They saw the other vehicle drive over the child and that’s when they realized it was a child. They immediately stopped and the driver of that vehicle got out and started rendering CPR.”
Reeves said there were four siblings in the car at the time, ages, 6, 3, 2, and 8 months and that while there were two child safety seats, none of the children were restrained.
Reeves did not say what caused the door to open other than to say something happened inside the vehicle that allowed the child to go out the door.
Child experts are speaking with the victim's siblings in an effort to understand what happened.
Investigators are trying to determine whether the door was ajar or was opened by someone in the car at the time of the incident.
The investigation into the accident is ongoing and no charges have been filed. Reeves said there could be a range of charges possible, including endangerment charges filed against the mother.
Anyone who may have seen the crash or was in the area at the time was asked to call Irving police investigator Lospeich at 972-721-2761.
Need Help Installing a Car Seat?
During the news conference Monday, Reeves issued a reminder that the law states children under the age of 5 must be in a child safety seat and children under 8 must be secured in a booster seat.
“We just know that a very tragic incident occurred where somehow because of something in that care, an 8-month-old was able to fall out of the car. So, that in and of itself is heartbreaking. Something to reiterate to everybody who either knows somebody with small children or has small children use those safety seats,” said Reeves.
Police departments often hold clinics showing parents how to properly install car safety seats and Reeves urged new parents, or anyone needing help with a safety seat, to stop by their nearest police station and ask for help with their seat if they aren't sure how to properly install it in their vehicle. Irving PD held an event on Saturday.
The victim's family did not respond to NBC 5's requests for comment.
Irving police are inviting anyone who witnessed the tragic incident and is struggling, to contact the city's family advocacy center for counseling services, at 972-721-6560.
Get updates on what's happening in North Texas to your inbox. Sign up for our News Headlines newsletter.