Fatal Crash Inspires Mom To Buy Car Seats

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(Memphis) A tragic car accident in South Memphis has a lot of people talking about the importance of car seats for children.

Six-month-old Jamayia Smallie was killed in this crash on Winchester Tuesday after police say two women got in their car without properly restraining their children. Three other children are recovering at LeBonheur Children’s Hospital.

The incident has inspired some to take action.

Many people are outraged that the children were not buckled up, but we found one mother who was willing to admit that she has been guilty of the same thing.

Kena Davis might now be their biggest advocate.

“Please buckle up and get car seats and booster seats please!” she said.

Just three months ago, she too got into a car wreck and her children, 2 and 5 years old, were not properly buckled up, “And they suffered from bruises and knots from the seat belt.”

“And you didn't have a car seat at that time?” asked reporter Sabrina Hall.

“ I didn’t,” said Davis.


“ I couldn't afford it at the time.”

But after seeing the news about the 6-month-old being killed and three other young children suffering injuries after the brutal crash on Winchester, none of them properly restrained, Kena made it a priority to get a car seat.

“Kinda got freaked out about the accident,” she said.

“I think all parents should do that,” said Susan Helms with the Safe Kids program at LeBonheur.

Helms says too often parents don't get car seats because of money constraints or the initial time it takes to install them. But she says the dollars and 45 minutes spent are well worth it.

“It’s a terrible tragedy that didn't have to happen,” said Helms. “Child restraints are very effective in what they do when they are used properly.”

Kena says she learned her lesson, “You got to slow down and think about the kids first, especially in the car.”

Her next stop: buying a booster seat for her 5-year-old.

If you are low-income and need a car seat, the Health Department can get you one for $10. And if you want to install one in your car the right way, Safe Kids at LeBonheur can help you do that.