The 2-year-old girl wandered from her mother's side, the way children that age often do, and plopped down innocently into an empty parking space.
It was about 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, and the girl and her mother had just left the sprawling Haverford Area YMCA on Eagle Road in Haverford Township. The facility, which opened in 2013, is perpetually busy, with more than 27,000 members streaming through its doors every year.
A motorist pulled into the YMCA's parking lot, and headed toward what appeared to be an open spot.
The driver never saw the girl.
The girl never stood a chance.
Haverford Township police said the girl, whose name has not been released, was taken to Lankenau Medical Center after she was struck by the car, and died from her injuries.
No charges were filed against the driver, who remained at the scene, according to police, and cooperated with investigators. Both the driver and the victim's family live in Haverford Township.
Shaun Elliott, the CEO of the Philadelphia Freedom Valley YMCA, said the girl's death was a "tragic accident."
Staffers at the facility ran outside when they realized the girl had been struck, he said, and police arrived at the scene quickly. The girl's father later visited the YMCA to share the news that she hadn't survived her injuries.
"We have thousands of kids and families coming through our doors every day," Elliott said, "so for something like this to happen, it's the unthinkable. It's really horrible."
Members of the Haverford YMCA registered their horror on its Facebook page.
"This is hard to hear," one woman wrote. "I am here almost everyday with my toddler, and I could easily be the mother of that child, OR the driver."
Others suggested the layout of the parking lot was to blame.
"That parking lot has always been a disaster and is NOT big enough for the amount of membership they allow," one person wrote.
Elliott said the YMCA lot is "busy," with as many as 2,000 people visiting a day, leading to some complaints about the lot not having enough spots. Nothing like Saturday's tragedy had occurred before, he said.
The facility closed for the day after the accident but is expected to reopen Sunday.