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A toddler died yesterday afternoon after her uncle ran her over with his pickup truck as she played outside her family's home in the northern town of Shlomi.

The uncle apparently did not see that his niece, Nahorai Dahan, 2, was behind his vehicle when he was backing up, and hit her with considerable force.

The girl's father drove her to Western Galilee Hospital, where she was declared dead from massive head injuries.

The case was referred to the police after the father said he was driving when the accident occurred. Accident investigators determined that the girl's uncle had been behind the wheel. He was detained for questioning and released on bail. Police say he may be charged with negligent homicide.

After consulting with the rabbi of Shlomi, Moshe Elharar, the family sought a court order to allow the infant to be buried without undergoing an autopsy.

These kinds of accidents - a vehicle driven in reverse causing injury or death - are common in Israel's Arab communities, and affect people of all ages and in nearly every location imaginable: in the yards of private homes, in parking lots that double as playgrounds, and on streets, sidewalks and the sides of roads, according to The National Center for Child Safety and Health (B'terem).

In most cases, the drivers are family members, and the victims are children.