The two children injured in Tuesday’s accident in Springfield were not believed to be in car seats.
Tuesday’s head-on collision with a tractor-trailer on Page Blvd. claimed the life of passenger Aida Hernandez, and sent her three-year-old daughter and another seven-year-old child to the hospital.
Springfield firefighters had to use the jaws of life to free the children from the wrecked car, and the Hampden County DA’s office said neither “appeared to have been in a car seat.”
“At this day and age? Yeah I’m kind of surprised, that’s very shocking to me,” said Fran Cardinal of West Springfield.
The DA’s office did not return our call to specify the penalties a driver might face for a crash in which a child wasn’t in a car seat.
But just last year, a Holland woman was sentenced to at least a year in jail, and lost her license for 15 years after two children were killed in a crash while she was driving, in which both children had not been “properly restrained”.
Her charges included motor vehicle homicide and reckless endangerment of a child.
Even if a child is in a car seat, parents need to make sure it’s installed properly.
“When they’re going for an investigation, if there’s an accident or a child is injured, the first thing they’ll go back to is the car seat,” Joe Scott, South Hadley firefighter/paramedic.
Joe Scott is a South Hadley firefighter, and a certified car seat technician. He said improperly installed car seats are very common.
“Most car seats are only good for ten years. Four out of five car seats are installed incorrectly,” said Scott. “You can come to your local fire department, police department. Generally, most of them are certified car seat technicians, and they can install them for you.”
Under state law, a child under eight, or less than 57 inches tall must be in a car seat. You can face a fine of $25 if you’re caught driving without your child properly secured.