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“This was not an accident:” Family of five-year-old girl run over wants driver behind bars

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RACINE (WITI) -- Family members of five-year-old Naomi Guerrero, run over by a car in Racine want to see the 16-year-old driver behind bars. Police have called the incident a tragic accident, but the little girl's family doesn't agree. Guerrero's family members say they can't start to heal until the driver is held responsible for what happened.

"We still can't get over the thought of our baby being gone," Mary Marquez said.

Family members of five-year-old Naomi Guerrero should be helping the little girl with the big smile get ready for kindergarten. Instead, they're fighting for justice.

"How can you run three people over and not be incarcerated?  We don't understand that," Marquez said.

Naomi was struck by a van two weeks ago -- on 1st Avenue near North Street in Racine.

The little girl was in the area for a birthday party. She was standing in a driveway when a 16-year-old boy began backing his family's van out of the driveway.

Naomi was knocked to the ground and run over by a rear wheel.

"I looked underneath the van, I saw my niece crawling out to me.  She was crawling out to me, telling me 'Tia!'  I said, 'I got you baby.'  While I'm pulling her out, this person rams the gas to where the tires are spinning," Marquez said.

Naomi's family members say they were shouting and banging on the car when the driver pulled forward into the driveway -- running over the little girl a second time.

The driver told police he heard the shouts -- but didn't realize he had hit anything.

Naomi died at the hospital.

"If you paused, why didn't you just put it in park?  But no, he went forward.  He slammed it," Marquez said.

A fundraiser was held on Sunday, August 10th for Naomi's mom, who hasn't been able to work since the incident.

The 16-year-old boy who hit Naomi hasn't been criminally charged. Police have called Naomi's death a tragic accident.

"They say it's an accident.  It's not an accident.  I'm sorry.  This was not an accident.  The first time yes, but not going up the driveway with all three of us," Marquez said.

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  • Cynthia

    Sometimes people make unfortunate decisions in a crisis. Causing an innocent person pain and suffering (beyond what he is probably already experiencing) because of a tragic mistake is not justice. I’m sure it’s hard to just let go and admit she passed as tge result ofa horrible aaccident. I’m sure its easier to be angry than to acknowledge our powerlessness in the face of the fact that terrible accidents sometimes happen. But anger won’t bring her back, and acting on that anger to push guilt onto an innocent perwon is wrong. As hard as it is, mercy needs to happen now. Forgiveness needs to happen.

  • WHAT!

    My condolences but this seems like an accident to me, the kid panicked, if they would have told him to put it in park or reached in and did it this might have only been injuries.

      • WHAT!

        Yelling at a panicked kid ‘STOP’ doesn’t work you need to direct them or take charge and why was the kid behind the van when another kid was driving? There’s partial negligence by the parents and they’re trying to avoid the blame.

    • Crystal

      Actually why don’t you read the other stories about this and maybe u will see it. So before u act like you know everything read first. Also why was a 16 yr old behind the wheel without a responsible parent in the car with him.

      • WHAT!

        Because a 16 year old with a license (presumably) doesn’t need a parent in the vehicle. And unless there’s new interviews this all they said.

  • Scott

    I also agree this is a horrible accident but don’t think the 16 year old should be charged. I believe he just panicked when he heard everyone yelling while backing up so his first reaction was to go forward to undo what just happened. Unfortunately in this case it did not work out that way. He already has to relive this in his head over and over everyday for the rest of his life. Criminal charges are not the answer.

  • Geo

    Sorry for the loss it is terrible, but questions still exist in in my mind that the media still doesn’t answer on their own:

    Was the 16yo allowed to be behind the wheel of his parent’s vehicle? If he had an instructional permit – didn’t there have to be someone in the passenger seat with him?

    They want criminal charges brought forward? What was the intent of the driver? Was it to back over someone and then run over them again? I certainly hope not, but then again you never know maybe he can just blame it on “Slender Man” and plead mental illness? It may sound cruel but that seems a way for certain people get away with attempted murder in Southeastern WI.

    We have only heard one side of the story – lets see a copy of the police report and see what is written down because as of right now it is all hearsay and we still haven’t heard from the driver about that was going through their mind at the time.

    That is my rant for now – there are several questions but I will end it at that.

  • diane

    Who was watching the five yr old behind a car? Unfortunate accident people pound ing on the vehicle caused additional panic causing the driver to step on the gas ? How would u know to go forward or backward. .or stay put?

  • bderk.

    Diane so agree! who was watching her. my prayers to the family. I am sure that 16 year old driver is suffering also. Hope and pray all find peace!

  • Mary Joe Perry

    There are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance in the 5 stages of grief. Both sides are going to go thru that in one way or another. Some get caught up in one and its difficult to move forward. Some repeat and some skip a stage, which is fine. Don’t judge the families devastation and grief process. As a mother of three young kids I cant imagine anything worse than losing my baby. I guarantee you that that aunt or mom who was with her didn’t have any reason to believe that van was going to move, If she did she would have immediately located her to make sure she wasn’t in the way. Its like a reflex for a child in your care. Stop the blame game. Jesus was short an angel and she was the best for the job.

  • Christina

    Charging a minor as a criminal is NOT going to make the pain any less. The family is just lashing out because they are hurting. They also may feel like they need someone to blame other than themselves because I first thought when I heard the story, well who was watching her and why is a 5 year old in a driveway, isn’t that considered a street? They’ll get thru this, but they need some serious counseling to get past this anger stage..

  • Ms Josie

    For those who are so quick to blame Naomi’s family. The 16 year old was on his cell phone. Was being told to stop, instead skidded up the driveway carrying three people. When he got off his car, ran in the house. No apologies from him or his family. Some sort of justice needs to be served. I agree accidents do happen but when a driver is not being responsible behind a wheel and going in reverse justice needs to be served. Also how many of our children play in driveways? Does that make us irrisponsble parents? I think not. The fact is she was waiting on her family to unload the
    car less than 10 feet away.

    • John

      The 16 year old was not on his cell phone or else he would have been criminally charged. I don’t think a teenager would intentionally run over a little girl. The police are ruling it a tragic accident and that is how I view it as well

  • John

    Where does it say that he was on his cell phone.? The police report came out and there wasn’t a mention of this? Nor was there a mention of it in any of the articles. Given that they ruled it a tragic accident, and that an extensive investigation was performed, you’d think that would come up somewhere? If he was on his cell phone he would have been charged. Get your facts straight

  • huh

    I don’t think he needs to be charged. A life of regret is the worst thing he could have. I’ve been reading this story since it first broke and it’s very close to my home, I know none of the people involved but it’s a tragic accident. Different choices could have been made by everyone.

  • JH

    He does not need to be charged. He is suffering just as the family is suffering. The whole situation could have been avoided if someone would have been watching the little girl. I believe he reacted in a way that anyone would have. If someone is yelling stop and I am driving backwards, my natural inclination is going to be to go forward so that I am avoiding whatever they see is behind me. Either way, it is really, very tragic for both parties. A little life gone too soon…

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