Pregnant mother killed when 6-year-old son accidentally runs her over with minivan

A pregnant mom died Monday after her 6-year-old son accidentally put the minivan in gear and ran her over in the parking lot of Sunnyside Beach.

The 35-year-old woman was identified as Shannon MacLeod, of Tacoma.

Macleod took some of her children to Sunnyside Beach Park in Steilacoom. They were loading up to head home when the accident happened. She was behind the minivan loading it up as they prepared to leave when the vehicle rolled backward and pinned her. MacLeod died on the way to the hospital.

Nathan Macleod and his mother’s boyfriend of 18 years Joseph Verplank sat grieving side-by-side while they were interviewed by KIRO 7 Tuesday.

“One of the kids was in the car or something like that, and the kids were playing around, and one of the kids knocked the car into neutral,” Nathan said fighting back tears.  “Mom was trying to stop the car.”

Doctors were able to perform an emergency C-section and save the baby, who was taken to Seattle Children’s Hospital.  However, Joseph Jr. is not doing well.  He is not showing much brain activity, family said.

“I mean it’s bad enough I lost my significant other,” Verplank said before trailing off into tears.  “But then to lose a child…”

To make matters worse, the family is still trying to get back on its feet following a fire that gutted their home in December.  Most are currently staying at a motel in the Tacoma area.

They have setup a GoFundMe account to help with medical and funeral expenses. 

“Help if you can,” Nathan said. “I’m not asking for a lot but my family is in desperate need.  They lost everything in the fire and now we lost our mother.”

Pierce County sheriff’s detectives are assisting with the investigation.

The News Tribune contributed to this report.