The father of a toddler tragically run over by her mother in their Bibra Lake driveway was last night trying to get home from a United States work trip to be with his distraught wife and two daughters.
The 16-month-old girl died of her injuries in Fremantle Hospital after being struck as her mother reversed the family's Saab station wagon out of their Thatched Court driveway just before 8am, as they prepared to leave for church.
It is believed the toddler's two sisters, aged under 10, were in the back seat of the car at the time and police are investigating how the little girl came to be in the path of the vehicle.
Neighbours cared for the two girls in the hours after the incident when their mother and the critically injured girl were rushed to hospital.
The child's mother was too distraught to talk extensively to police yesterday morning but tests have shown that she did not have any alcohol in her system. Her car has been taken for testing.
Some neighbours said they heard screams early yesterday but others were unaware of what happened until they saw police cars and paramedics in the street. Many were visibly upset as news spread throughout the small cul de sac.
The distraught mother and her two daughters were last night being cared for by her parents-in-law.
Police had to break the news to the toddler's father by phone and were trying to get him on the first flight home.
It is understood he had been in the US for at least a week for work and had been camping with colleagues.
Twenty-one children were treated at Princess Margaret Hospital after being run over in a driveway in the five years to June 2013.
It is not known how many of those did not survive.
But, on average, seven children aged under-15 are killed each year and 60 seriously injured after being struck by cars in driveways in Australia.
Kidsafe WA said small children could be impossible to see from a car, especially if they were directly behind it.
Children aged one to two years were most likely to be injured in driveways because they were old enough to be mobile but too small to be easily visible from a driver's seat.