A three-year-old died on Friday, April 23rd, when the vehicle she was riding in lost control and collided with a vehicle that was stopped. According to police, the little girl was not wearing any safety restraints whatsoever at the time of the incident.
This crash comes less than a month after a six-year-old boy was killed in another Texas accident with no safety restraint use.
The April Incident
Authorities are once again stressing the importance of safety belts, booster seats, and car seats after a three-year-old girl died on Friday in a crash in which she was wearing no safety restraints.
At the time of the crash, the 3-year-old, her mother, and a third passenger were traveling in an SUV which was reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed on Cardinal Drive. At a curve near MLK, the mother lost control of the vehicle before colliding with a vehicle stopped on the side of the road.
The driver of the stopped vehicle was in the process of changing a flat tire when the SUV struck his car. As a result, the stopped driver fell down an embankment, breaking his arm.
The mother was hospitalized and is in critical condition, while the passenger of the SUV was treated for minor injuries. The three-year-old girl was pronounced dead on the scene.
“The bad thing on this is there was no safety restraint on the child, not even a seat belt,” Beaumont Police Sgt. Cody Guedry told The Beaumont Enterprise. “That’s why we really want to stress that parents use a properly secured safety restraint for their children. The sad thing is, this child could still be alive if she had that.”
Beyond the use of child safety restraints, Guedry also stressed the importance of taking care when changing a flat tire.
“We’ve had several accidents in recent years with people changing flat tires on the side of the freeway that resulted in an accident,” Guedry told The Enterprise. “Especially when it is nighttime and if it is raining, I mean no tire is worth your life.”
Car Seat Guidelines in Texas
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, all children under the age of 8 are required to be secured in a car seat while riding in a vehicle, unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches. Alarmingly, however, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated that 59% of car seats aren’t used properly.
According to TxDOT’s program, “Save Me With a Seat,” there are four stages of child safety restraint use:
- Rear-facing seats — Infants to 2-year-olds, or infants to those at the maximum weight or height of the seat.
- Convertible forward-facing seats — Those outside the weight/height range of rear-facing seats and above, or two-year-olds and above.
- Forward-facing seat or booster seat — Those outside the height/weight range of forward-facing seats to those 4 feet 9 inches tall.
- Seat belts — Those 4 feet 9 inches tall and above.
You can verify which stage your child should use, as well as sign up for a virtual car seat. Find out more at the Save Me With a Seat website.
If you or your child has been involved in a Texas car accident, contact the Houston car accident attorneys of Lapeze and Johns today to learn about your rights to compensation.
Source: The Beaumont Enterprise