A two-year-old boy died after his father accidentally hit him with his truck while driving out of the family driveway in Northern Virginia on Monday. The toddler’s parents spoke to Telemundo 44 after the tragedy.

Bayron Alexander Zapata, known as Alex, was met outside his home on Roma Street in Fairfax. In October he would have been 3 years old.

Zapata was a happy kid who loved superheroes, his parents said on Tuesday next to a memorial to him. Bouquets of flowers, candles, balloons and toys were placed in front of their house.

The accident happened quickly, said the toddler’s parents, sobbing. His father, Byrol Zapata, was working on his 2005 Ford F-350 Monday night and was ready to drive it out of their driveway.

“I put it in and told him to stay inside and he said, ‘Okay, Daddy.’ But I didn’t notice when he came out again, “said the father in Spanish and wept. “When the truck accident happened, it was too late.”

The toddler’s four-year-old sister saw the accident, said her mother, Kelly Castillo.

Fairfax County Police arrived at around 6.45pm and found Zapata seriously injured. First responders pronounced the child dead. An investigation is ongoing.

The Hot Cars Acts would mandate child detection sensors in new vehicles to warn drivers to check the backseat. News4’s Susan Hogan reports.

The day before, the family had spent the day together on a river. Zapata brought them joy.

“He was always happy,” said his aunt Iris Zapata. “When we were around him he would say, ‘Why are you serious? I came to play with you all. ‘”

In the midst of unimaginable pain, the Zapatas had a message for others.

“Please take care of your children,” said the toddler’s father.

Kids and Cars, a nonprofit, estimates that more than 50 children are affected by “backwater” accidents every week in the United States. The group recommends:

  • Use reversing cameras and sensors on your vehicle
  • Keep front doors locked and install locks on top of doors that children cannot reach
  • Make sure children are supervised when someone enters or leaves the house
  • Walk around your vehicle before driving off. If you see or hear children, make sure they are supervised by an adult
  • Never let young children run in parking lots
  • When you are backing up, fold your window down so you will hear any warning to stop.

The Zapata family is collecting donations for the funeral of the toddler.

Go here to see the story of Telemundo 44.