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On Thursday, April 30, 2015, a car accident on Interstate 79 in Braxton County, West Virginia, left a four year old dead and caused injuries to six others. The wreck happed at 6:20 am in the southband lane of I-79 near the Frametown, Servia Road area. The SUV involved in the crash rolled four times.
According to news reports, the SUV was traveling back to Kentucky carrying seven people when the wreck occurred. Witnesses indicate that the driver of the SUV may have fallen asleep. According to Lt. Michael Baylous of the West Virginia State Police, deceased child was riding in a car seat for children, but it may not have been properly secured. Baylous said that “The force of a rollover like that would be quite extreme, and a child that size would have a lot of problems from that.”
The other people in the car were injured and taken to Braxton Memorial Hospital in Sutton. One individual with more life threatening injuries was transported by helicopter to Charleston Area Medical Center.
This tragic collision highlights the importance of ensuring that child safety seats are properly used and installed. These tips from seatcheck.org provide guidance to ensure a safer ride for your child:
· Children over two years old or who have outgrown a rear-facing seat can ride forward facing in the car. Children should remain in a forward-facing child seat with a harness for as long as possible.
· All children whose weight or height is above the forward-facing limit for the child seat should use a belt-positioning booster seat until the vehicle’s safety belt fits properly.
· The “best” child safety seat is the one that properly fits the child, the vehicle, and is used correctly every time.
· Have your child’s safety seat checked.
· Old/used child safety seats should not be used unless you know they have never been in a wreck and you have all of the parts.
· Always read both the car’s owner’s manual and the instructions that come with the child safety seat.
It is important that children have the appropriate seat and restraint while riding in a car to ensure the highest level of safety. There are numerous resources available online that can assist in helping you find the best seat for your child. Further, certified technicians can conduct a child safety seat inspection that will ensure your seat has been properly installed and can diagnose any problems that may be related to the seat.