Two-year-old niece of Mayor Karl Dean killed in Belle Meade accident

Thursday, February 16, 2012 at 10:54pm

The niece of Nashville Mayor Karl Dean was killed in an accident Thursday night when her father, Nashville businessman Joe C. Davis, struck her with his car in the driveway of their Belle Meade home.

Davis is the brother of Dean's wife, Anne Davis.

According to police, Davis was backing out of his driveway when the accident occurred. Metro police, Youth Services and Nashville's Fatal Crash Traffic Team responded to the scene.

The child was first taken to St. Thomas Hospital and then transported to the Vanderbilt University Hospital Pediatric Trauma Unit where she was pronounced dead.

Davis is an area businessman and restaurateur and founder of the charity Backfield in Motion.

His late uncle, also named Joe, was CEO of the Nashville-based Davis Coals, and served as chairman of the board of Montgomery Bell Academy until 1989.

29 Comments on this post:

By: Ralphieboy on 2/16/12 at 10:06

You had to know the CP couldn't pass up the MBA connection

By: cmarcus45 on 2/16/12 at 10:16

Who gives a crap about the CP's reference to a MBA connection? This is tragic, and a parent's worse nightmare. I pray for comfort for the family following this terrible accident.

By: TonyGottlieb on 2/16/12 at 10:18

That is heartbreaking. Our deepest condolences.

By: huang123456 on 2/17/12 at 12:23

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By: Ralphieboy on 2/17/12 at 6:10

cmarcus, I agree with you but clearly the CP cares about the MBA connection

By: d4deli on 2/17/12 at 6:14

Tacky and shameless self promotion huang. Either you didn't read the article you posted on, or you are heartless. Shame on you!
What a tragic event that will stay with this family for years to come. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

By: dargent7 on 2/17/12 at 6:15

What kind of moron posts a woman's hand-bag sale on a death story?
I thought the BMW SUV's had rear cameras in the bumper to prevent this type of accident that happens all the time. Those cars are so tall you cannot see what's on the ground behind you w/o a camera. Cannot believe the little girl just happened to be right in that 5' space at that exact time. Getting a broken arm or leg would be bad enough.
You have to wonder where Jesus was or what He was doing.

By: budlight on 2/17/12 at 6:57

d4deli on 2/17/12 at 6:14
Tacky and shameless self promotion huang. Either you didn't read the article you posted on, or you are heartless. Shame on you!

d4deli, "HUANG" -- need I say more? The Chinease don't even think baby girls should survive to start with.

D7, The same kind of moron who thinks baby girls have no place on the earth. Huang is ruthless!

Also, D7 I don't think Jesus "let" this happen. I would sort of wonder where the caregiver was or what they were doing. I am sad for the Mayor and his entire family. This is not a time to point fingers, but to offer condolences. These types of accidents are so preventable, yet we seem to hear about quite a few of them.

One thing is for sure: Two year olds are quite fiesty and have a mind of their own at times.

By: Ask01 on 2/17/12 at 7:08

This truly sad incident illustrates such accidents cross all socio-economic boundaries. I cannot imagine any worse tragedy befalling any family than the loss of a child. Particularly through inadvertant actions of a parent.

Much as I have lambasted Mayor Dean, the elected official, my heart goes out to him and the family as fellow human beings.

Hopefully, this incident can have the positive effect of making drivers more alert to their surroundings, double and triple checking for children.

I do have one question though, and don't think me too callous, but I wonder if police would have been so quick to label this an innocent accident had it occurred in a setting associated a with lower income populace, say a trailer park or the projects? Or would the parents have been looked at with a microscope seeking indications of neglect, abuse, or other misdeeds?

Do not misunderstand, this is a tragedy of monumental proportions. Any loss of a child is horrible. But I cannot help but wonder.

By: Moonglow1 on 2/17/12 at 7:29


I am appalled at the posting by huang. Our government has allowed the Chinese to take 50,000 American manufacturing jobs over the past 10 years, and now we have huang dis respecting this family who suffered an unspeakable tragedy by selling fake designer handbags. Over in Communist China, huang would be hung for exhibiting such behavior.

By: yogiman on 2/17/12 at 7:46

I feel sorry for the mayor because the child was his niece, as I would for anyone who lost a family member in such and accident. But my real sorrow goes to the child's parents. They will have to live with this the rest of their lives.

By: dargent7 on 2/17/12 at 7:49

Let's remember the child was Karl Dean's niece, not his child. The father who drove is his brother-in-law.
Still incrediblly tragic.

By: Moonglow1 on 2/17/12 at 7:57

Moonglow1: good point Yogi.

By: Siobhanne on 2/17/12 at 8:02

My deepest sympathy to the family. The loss of a child is devastating. I remember when my youngest daughter, now 18, was about 2 yrs old when she suddenly darted behind my husband as he was backing up. He was not able to see her as she was in a blind spot. And she was being supervised.. but it happened so fast that there was little time to react. Thankfully I was able to snatch her just in time but it was a very close call. We were all badly shaken. Thankfully I was younger and my reflexes were much quicker back then.

Ask01... I wonder the same thing. Had this incident happened to a low income family,in a less affluent part of town or to a family without political connections would the police (and DHS) been all over it with allegations of abuse and neglect?

By: Jughead on 2/17/12 at 8:15

Sad. You never forget burying your child. I know.

By: dargent7 on 2/17/12 at 9:17

Not to sway off too far from the topic at hand.
It's like the Police officer who left his K-9 Unit in the patrol car, in August with the windows rolled up.
Or the parents who left the kid in the car in July or Aug. with the windows rolled up.
Temps in the car can exceed 120 degrees in 15 minutes.
A two year old needs supervision at all times.
Are we all so distracted, on the cell phone, blabbing bullsh**, we're not paying attention?

By: Ask01 on 2/17/12 at 9:48

All children need supervision at all times. I can attest, however, after having ridden herd on three, children are sneaky, and masters of misdirection, natural born politicians and lawyers. They are also fast, unless getting ready for school.

While I 100% agree parents need to be ever vigilant, I know children can elude even the most observant adult. To that end, all adults and drivers must exercise extreme caution, even law enforcement speeding to a call through residential areas.

What? After the set up provided by dargent7 you thought I would miss the opportunity to dredge up what I believe was a case of cops covering for cops? To the point a jury was afraid to convict? Good thing I wasn't on the jury.

Yogi, dargent7, you are of course correct, this was Mayor Dean's niece, not a daughter, but family is family, a very important social group.

By: OHSMAN74 on 2/17/12 at 10:07

As a parent, I have lived in constant fear of a tragedy like this. My father backed over my brother; who fortunately escaped with a broken leg. And no father ever loved his sons more, or was a better father, than mine.
I hope that Mr. Davis, and anyone else involved, can accept that we are all human, and try to move beyond this. It could happen to any of us, in one way or another. Any day that you end without a tragedy like this is a good one.

By: san r on 2/17/12 at 10:09

my 95 year old neighbor, who makes her way over here each day, was sitting in the back of my driveway where i always park my vehicle. i backed in like i always do and don't ask me what caused me to take another backward glance and there she was. she was sleep in my chair, basking in the sun. i wish the same thing that caused me to look would work for all people because this is too heart-breaking and impossible to understand, WHY?
may GOD show more mercy upon us and give us peace in the midst of the storms.
RIP, little one.

By: karlwithak on 2/17/12 at 10:24

A question no one has asked.....Was the driver subjected to drug and alcohol tests after the accident ?

Since the driver does have a history of drug and alcohol abuse wouldn't it make sense ?

By: yucchhii on 2/17/12 at 10:51

yucchhii I pray for the childs parents! Who cares about the DISHONERABLE MAYOR KARL DINK!!! Unfortunately, the child was related to the DINKS!!

By: girliegirl on 2/17/12 at 10:52

Karl, I was wondering the same thing....reason in particular: ALL the SUVs I've looked at in the last 6 years have Back Up Sensors. He was driving a BMW as I recall, and it would've had that as a standard option, or so I've been told. So, either he was negligent entirely when it was "beeping" or....he has one hell of a lawsuit against the car manufacturer. Our Expedition detects kittens, 1.2 pound Chihuahuas and all sizes of children....and it's a cheap Ford, in comparison.

By: MJB on 2/17/12 at 11:26

Wait, I don't get it. Who goes bombing down his driveway without knowing where his two-year-old is? Was Joe Davis drunk? is he a jerk? or is he stupid?

Also interesting: Nashville's property listings show no house in Belle Meade owned by a Joe Davis. Who owns this property?

By: dargent7 on 2/17/12 at 11:49

MJB: You've got a point, however nasty.
I would say 99% of all fathers, whenever they leave the house, job, store, ....want to kiss their 2 year old "little girl" good-bye. "See you sweatheart, be a good girl for mommy,for daddy, ok?" "Yes, daddy". He just leaves the house, doesn't ask mommy dearest, "where's the kid?", and is probably on his cell phone talking to no one of any importance, and backs over and kills the child? Where was the mom's caring and attention? No way would I EVER leave the house and not check on my two year old. NEVER.
The whole thing stinks of irresponsibility.

By: girliegirl on 2/17/12 at 1:32

I'm still asking the OBVIOUS.....Why didn't his Backup Sensors PREVENT the killing of a child in this case? That's what they're for, remember?

By: yogiman on 2/17/12 at 10:53

Isn't it odd when such a tragedy happens, so many are looking for the reason for the fault of the accident?

Let that child rest in peace and give her parents time to recover what little they may.

By: NilsOrion on 2/18/12 at 6:25

Mimicking the behavior of TV pundits with too much on their hand and too little knowledge of the subjects they are discussing, too many of us have become pious, opinionated, callous commentators on every news story. "How could this have been prevented? Were drugs involved? Is there a police cover up?" Blah blah blah. In fact, none of us are perfect, all of us make mistakes, and accidents really do just happened. A family is dealing with a tragedy, and the last thing they need is the opinion of anonymous people who could care less about the them.

By: Lorenzo on 2/18/12 at 12:50

NilsOrion, very well said.

By: yogiman on 2/18/12 at 11:36

Well, I've been convinced of one thing on this situation: Don't buy anything from huang123456. Considering [their] obvious ignorance, I'd question [their] intelligence and integrity on what they thought they were selling.