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Dad injured as he saves son from SUV's path

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Friday, April 6, 2012

A Tarentum father was accidentally run over by his mother-in-law on Thursday but he saved his 5-year-old son from serious injury by pushing the boy out of the way of her slow-moving SUV, police said.

John Flatt, 34, of the 100 block of East 10th Avenue, Tarentum, was listed in serious condition last night at UPMC Presbyterian, Pittsburgh, where he was treated for back injuries.

The accident happened in a cinder parking lot off Mill Street across from Tarentum Borough's maintenance garage.

Police said the unlikely mishap happened soon after Flatt took a walk along Bull Creek with his son, Calib, at about 3:30 p.m.

Mother-in-law Hope Vickers, 50, of Bull Creek Road, Fawn, arrived to pick up the boy, Tarentum police Chief Bill Vakulick said.

A younger sibling was in a car seat in the large Chevrolet SUV. The child started crying as Vickers started forward, the chief said, and she turned for a moment to check on the child.

At the same instant, Calib's sandal came off as he crossed in front of the SUV and his father bent down to get it.

"He saw it coming and was able to push the boy aside," Patrolman Kurt Jendrejewski said.

Flatt, however, was run over by one of the SUV's wheels, police said.

Calib was listed in stable condition last night in Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

The shaken mother-in-law was driven from the scene.

"This was an accident," Vakulick said. "A bad accident."

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