Maria Chapman (5) was killed in a car accident. Maria had been playing in her driveway with her two sisters when a sports utility vehicle her brother was driving had hit her at around 5:30 pm. The sisters had been pretending they were going to a Jonas Brothers concert. Maria then reached for the monkey bars but she wasn’t tall enough and her sister wasn’t able to lift her that high. At that moment, they had heard their brother pulling into the driveway and Maria’s younger sister told her that the brother could lift her up there. Maria had then ran towards the SUV just as the brother started turning the vehicle towards them. He never saw Maria as she was too small and would hit her. She was airlifted to the hospital but unable to be saved. Every year, thousands of children are seriously injured or even killed by drivers backing into a driveway because of their blind spots and the child being too small to see. Cameras and parking sensors are two things that could help prevent these tragedies. In 2004, Steven Chapman had flown to China, and as they’d already adopted two girls from China his wife told him “don’t even look at any orphan babies.” However, a few days later, Steven had fallen in love with an orphan named Maria and within seven months she became a Chapman. Maria quickly bonded with her new sister Stevey Joy who was only seven months old. They would go to the same preschool, dress alike and play together all the time. Maria was described as someone who often woke up smiling and singing. Maria had also established herself in the household as “the most spirited child” and videos often captured her laughing, playing and jumping on the bed. “She was the one you'd put in bed and say, 'Don't get out of bed.' About 20 minutes later, you're doing every discipline measure you know," Steven Chapman said. “When Maria was happy, all was right with the world. She was so funny and goofy and silly," Mary Beth Chapman said. "When she was unhappy, the world was coming to an end — and the world knew it. There was no middle ground." Fly high, Maria.
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