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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Ground Level   » Infant dies after being run over by car at drive-in theatre

   
Author Topic: Infant dies after being run over by car at drive-in theatre
Frank Cox
Film God

Posts: 2180
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 08-01-2019 12:18 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Infant dies after being run over by car at Boucherville, Que., drive-in theatre

quote:
An infant has died after being run over by a vehicle at a drive-in theatre on Montreal's South Shore Wednesday night.

It happened around 11:30 p.m. at Ciné-Parc Boucherville, as people were leaving the outdoor cinema in their cars.

Witness Jean-Simon Lavoie said that as cars began pulling out from the theatre, a vehicle backed over a small tent with a four-month-old sleeping girl inside.

He heard people nearby screaming and learned that first aid was performed on the infant, but to no avail.

"There was blood," Lavoie said. "I've never seen something like this."
Cars were starting to pull out of the drive-in theatre when the four-month-old was struck Wednesday night. (Alain Béland/CBC)

Longueuil police spokesperson Mélanie Mercille said the baby was transported to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Mercille said the baby's parents were gathering their lawn chairs when the vehicle parked next to the tent drove over the child.

The parents and first responders are being treated for shock, she said.

Police believe it was an accident and do not expect charges to be laid.

A spokesperson for Cineplex, which owns the drive-in, offered condolences to the family in an email to Radio-Canada.

"We are deeply saddened by what happened," wrote the spokesperson, Sarah Van Lange.

"We are doing everything in our power to help the local authorities conduct their investigation."
'Truly shocking'

Jean-Yves Martel, who runs a drive-in theatre in Orford, Que., said the incident was "truly shocking."

"This is the first time that this has happened in a Quebec drive-in in 50 years," said Martel.

He said at his drive-in, which is not affiliated with the Boucherville theatre, eight security guards patrol the area and signage advises parents to watch over their children.

While he says ensuring the safe movement of vehicles is the theatre's priority, motorists and parents must always pay close attention to their surroundings so that no one is put in danger.

"We can't have have eyes everywhere," he said.


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Claude S. Ayakawa
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From: Waipahu, Hawaii, USA
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 - posted 08-01-2019 02:57 PM      Profile for Claude S. Ayakawa   Author's Homepage   Email Claude S. Ayakawa   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
How Sad !

- - Claude

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Justin Hamaker
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From: Lakeport, CA USA
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 - posted 08-01-2019 05:09 PM      Profile for Justin Hamaker   Author's Homepage   Email Justin Hamaker   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We take a lot of flack from customers at our drive-in when we tell them they can't park or sit in certain areas, or that they can't lay on the ground. Sadly, this is the type of thing we are constantly afraid of.

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Mike Blakesley
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From: Forsyth, Montana
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 - posted 08-01-2019 11:28 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Our (now gone) drive-in here used to have a series of benches out in front of the parking area to sit on. Other than that you weren't allowed to sit outside of your vehicle. You could park a pickup backwards in the back row and sit in the box, but that was it.

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Marcel Birgelen
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From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
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 - posted 08-02-2019 01:54 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's obviously sad for the family involved, it's even sad for those who caused it, because they've to live with the feelings of guilt...

But what is often forgotten is that's also pretty sad for the business owners, who often see their businesses decline for a considerable amount of time after such incidents occur.

I remember a small, locally owned supermarket where something similar happened about 20 years back. A toddler was hit by an incoming delivery truck and, sadly, didn't make it. Apparently it was a pretty visual scene with quite a lot of witnesses...

I knew the owners back then via my family. They went almost bankrupt afterwards, because nobody seemingly wanted to shop anymore at that place where this awful thing happened.

Also, there was a whole lot of blame afterwards, like the parking lot supposedly not being properly laid out, etc...

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Dave Bird
Jedi Master Film Handler

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From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 08-07-2019 09:20 AM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This is heartbreaking, truly, this is about the only thing I worry about at our place and I'm not sure what to do about it. By the grace of God I suppose, nothing like this has happened here or very often anywhere. Where I get stuck is once you make it a stated "rule" that nobody is to lay on blankets, then are you liable for such an incident? As it is, we say that we "don't recommend" blankets and that lawn chairs must be set up in front of your car and children attended, because we could never monitor such things in the dark for the entire evening. Maybe it's all the late nights of the season catching up, the fact it's a drive-in, fairly close to us or just being a parent, I'm really finding myself quite upset reading this this morning.

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Allen Arin
Film Handler

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From: New Bern/north carolina,USA
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 - posted 09-02-2019 12:48 AM      Profile for Allen Arin   Email Allen Arin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
So Sad !

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Randy Stankey
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From: Erie, Pennsylvania
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 - posted 09-02-2019 02:38 AM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Dave Bird
Where I get stuck is once you make it a stated "rule" that nobody is to lay on blankets, then are you liable for such an incident?
Actually, the question is: "Did you know or should you have known that something like this could happen?"

If incidents like this have happened before, you SHOULD know. The news story, above, proves it. Furthermore, it is common sense. People shouldn't sit on the ground in a dark area where there are cars moving around. Somebody could get run over.

Putting up a sign...or NOT putting up a sign...doesn't change your liability one bit.

The only thing that can save you is whether you TAKE ACTION to prevent it.

Patrolling the lot and telling people who are camping out that it's unsafe is one thing you can do.

Making a special area for people to camp out with blankets and lawn chairs could also help.

You have to be able to show that you were aware of the danger, that you took reasonable measures to prevent accidents and that you enforced those measures.

Just having a "No Camping Out" policy then kinda-sorta enforcing it when you notice a problem won't cut it. You need to have a policy and you need to be able to prove that you enforce it.

You should probably have somebody walking the lot on a regular basis, at least once or twice per show. That person should be on the lookout for people camping out as well as for other problems.

You should probably keep some kind of record or log book of when you walked the lot, what time you made the rounds and you should make notes of anything that happened...

"9/2/2019 - 9:30 p.m. - Patrolled lot area. Warned 2 groups for camping out. No other problems. - R.S."

Even if you just kept notes in a spiral notebook, if something bad ever happened, you have some kind of a record to show that that you are doing something to prevent this kind of problem.

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Marcel Birgelen
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From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
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 - posted 09-02-2019 05:56 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm not a lawyer, but in most jurisdictions, this would probably be treated like an accident in a public place like a public parking lot. Usually, it's the driver who gets the brunt of the blame, because if you're operating a car, you're operating an inherent dangerous device. So, you're expected to put in some extra caution, especially when maneuvering in spaces that mix with potential "lesser" traffic like bicycles and people on foot.

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Mike Blakesley
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 - posted 09-02-2019 09:26 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One thing in that article that nobody has commented on (and I just noticed as I was re-reading it) is that the child died when the car BACKED OVER A TENT during the exit from the show.

It seems to me that nobody would ever BACK UP in a drive-in theatre, ESPECIALLY not during the exit process. That's just inviting disaster. The only time you'd ever back up is if you need to maneuver your car a little closer to the post. (Do modern drive-ins even have posts? I haven't been in one in about 40 years.)

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Marcel Birgelen
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From: Maastricht, Limburg, Netherlands
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 - posted 09-05-2019 02:06 AM      Profile for Marcel Birgelen   Email Marcel Birgelen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Unfortunately, drive-ins have pretty much vanished around here. Every now and then someone organizes a summer-revival with a pop-up kind of drive-in. But it was probably a combination between customer preferences, lack of space, too many ambient light and lack of stable weather around the season that killed them many years ago. The last time I've been to one was in the U.S. and that one did still have posts, but no speakers (you could probably get them at the office or refreshment center).

Besides some utter stupidity or mistake, the only reason for backing up I could come up with is, because the lane behind you is moving faster. I've often seen people do all kinds of crazy stuff, only because they think they can win a few seconds of time by doing so...

On the other hand, I think I would never put my child, in a tent, right behind someone else's car, probably not even behind my own car...

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Dave Macaulay
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From: Toronto, Canada
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 - posted 09-05-2019 01:39 PM      Profile for Dave Macaulay   Email Dave Macaulay   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I haven't seen a DI with speakers for years. They still have the posts - apparently it's expensive to rip those up - but no speakers in place, or on site at all except maybe a few as relics.
They converted to AM radio sound years ago, that's gone as well and all have FM transmitters.
I don't know about backing out, there really isn't any great reason not to. Maybe people are afraid of going over the hump? I suspect that whoever ran over the tent was leaving after the first feature. If I had an infant in a tiny tent behind the car (I wouldn't!!!) I would certainly pack it up before the shows finished and everyone would be leaving.

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Kenneth Wuepper
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Another reason to leave the posts is for the heaters used to extend the drive in season for a while. Those posts were connected to 120 Volts and protected from ground faults in the projection room power panels.

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Justin Hamaker
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From: Lakeport, CA USA
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At our drive-in we have two rules specifically designed to deal with the potential for this to happen.

1. We have white lines painted along the crest of each row and we tell our guests no "tailgates or toes" over the white line. This keeps a clear lane for cars to travel, as well as ensuring we have access for emergency vehicles. This lane provides more than enough clearance for vehicles to back up safely.

2. We don't allow people to sit out side their vehicles at ground level. It's fine iff they want to bring chairs, benches, or couches and set those up behind the white line. However, we don't allow people to sit/lay on the ground. I assume the "tent" in this article was some kind of covered playpen. Although we would probably allow a playpen, it would have to be positioned where it's protected by the vehicle and/or chairs where the adults are sitting.

What has been very frustrating is the amount of push back we have received from some people. They act as though not being able to sit on the ground is the worst imposition we could impose. We have had numerous people threaten to never come back over this rule. I think one issue that comes up with the drive-in is people think of it more as their space because they are in their vehicle outside. The just don't appreciate that the drive-in is private property in the same way the cinema is.

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