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Aug 4, 2017

Toddler Hannah Hochstetler Run Over by Dad’s SUV

Hannah Hochstetler

Two persons lost their lives in separate road traffic accidents on Thursday. Perhaps the more heart-wrenching of the two occurred just after four p.m. on the Iguana Creek Road in Spanish Lookout, Cayo. Thirty-three-year-old Stephen Hochstetler Senior ran over his fourteen-month-old daughter as he reversed the family’s SUV out of the yard. Hannah was rushed to Western Regional Hospital by ambulance, but was pronounced dead on arrival. A postmortem examination conducted earlier today on the body of Baby Hannah confirmed that she died as a result of traumatic shock due to massive head injuries. News Five’s Duane Moody headed west and spoke with the heartbroken family, who is still in shock.


Stephen Hochstetler Sr., Father of Deceased

“She was our baby; she loved her daddy and we were close. But she probably just wanted to come out to see me, but then I don’t know why she came around that side because it would have been closer around the other side of the vehicle and then I would have seen her right away.”


Duane Moody, Reporting

Tonight, the Hochstetler family grieves the sudden death of fourteen-month-old Hannah, who was killed on Thursday afternoon when her father accidentally reversed their vehicle on her. Stephen Hochstetler Senior had just arrived at the warehouse in front of their mobile home in the family’s Toyota Four-Runner SUV and had unloaded some construction supplies. As he began to go backward in the vehicle, he felt a bump. When he came out to check, the rear wheel of the SUV had run over his youngest daughter, fatally crushing her.


Stephen Hochstetler Sr.

Stephen Hochstetler Sr.

“I work for company and I am the jobsite supervisor. A part of the load needed to go directly to one of the sites and the other supplies needed to go to site that we were going to visit this morning. And so I dropped off those supplies out here by the warehouse, a little off from the house. As I was dropping them off, I was just going to drop them off and go on to the jobsite I still needed to check on about a quarter after four or ten or fifteen minutes after four. And as I unloaded, I was untying straps on one side because I had some pipes on the top of my four-runner and I unloaded them and I untied the straps on both sides of the vehicle. And I went around the next side to pick up the straps and put them back in the vehicle. And then I looked around but I didn’t see anybody except my little son, who was with me. He had come out of the house to where I was to see me and he was there with me as I unloaded and then after I unloaded and was ready to leave, I looked around and I told him to go back to the house.”


Stephen Junior went back to the house.  His father says that he didn’t see Hannah leave the house; he assumed that the toddler and his other daughter Mary were with their mother inside the house. But she wasn’t. It is still very unbelievable for the family, who relocated to Spanish Lookout just six months ago from Dangriga.


Stephen Hochstetler Sr.

“I didn’t see anything so I started backing up and I felt like I hit something and I stopped immediately and it was my daughter.”


Duane Moody

“So you didn’t see her any at all; that she had come out to see you?”


Stephen Hochstetler Sr.,

“No I hadn’t seen her at all. I guess when I was behind the vehicle she must have come out and come around the front on the other side and walk along beside the vehicle and then as I walked away from that side, she must have just come out on that side and so as I went up to the driver’s side, she got run-over. Obviously she was still mostly under the vehicle…I think I drove over her head with the wheel. I waved at them and her and also my oldest two children cause Mary was close to the house and my boy, Stephen, was going to the house as I sent him and they waved back goodbye. I don’t know how this could have happened?”


Although it was unintentional, Hochstetler Senior was nevertheless served with a notice of intended prosecution by the investigator attached to the San Ignacio Police Formation. The file, once completed, will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecution to determine if the father will be charged for causing death by careless conduct of his daughter.


Richard Rosado

Supt. Richard Rosado, O.C., San Ignacio Police Formation

“The toddler was transported to the Western Regional Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries. At this moment a postmortem is being conducted at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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