A 5-year-old San Diego County girl died after being struck by her mother's van twice, officials said Friday.
The collision happened just before 5:30 p.m. Thursday on Carnation Road in Ramona.
William Noble said his wife and kids were visiting a friend’s house at the time. Noble said his kids were sitting on the van’s back bumper, but his wife didn’t realize they were there when she started backing up.
“She [my daughter] decided to jump off, and it was a horrible accident,” Noble said.
Investigators with the California Highway Patrol said Friday that the girl ran in back of her mother's van in an attempt to open a driveway gate.
When the mother felt a bump, she thought she may have struck her child, officials said.
"Not realizing she had run over her daughter, she pulled forward and struck her child a second time," the official release states.
Crews from the CHP, Cal Fire and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene.
When deputies arrived, the girl was not breathing so CPR was administered to the child on scene. Mercy Air flew the girl to Rady Children's Hospital, where she died.
Noble said his daughter, Bella, was in Kindergarten this year.
“She was the most beautiful girl and just the sweetest spirit in the whole world,” he said.
The heartbroken father also had a message for other parents.
“Just hug your kids. Love them. Make time for them,” he said. “Do everything they ask you, even if you have to dress up funny, because you never know when they’re not going to be here anymore.”
The mother was described by officials as 42 years old. The vehicle was a 2000 Chevrolet Astro Van.
The CHP said the investigation is ongoing and that alcohol or drugs do not appear to be a factor in this incident.