(Memphis) Only one of the eight children involved in a rollover crash on Shelby Drive was in a car seat, according to a spokeswoman with Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
Investigators still do not know if the other kids were buckled in.
A program called Safe Kids at Le Bonheur offers car seat inspections.
It is supposed to help save kids lives in crashes, but parents need to take advantage of this sort of help to make sure their kids are safe.
The image of a car seat sitting near a mangled SUV is one that is burned into the minds of people who witnessed Tuesday night’s crash in Whitehaven.
Kenny Lee, who saw the vehicle roll and hit a home, said, “When I saw that baby come out of that truck, I almost passed out myself. I said to myself, ‘I pray nothing like this ever happens again.'”
A spokeswoman with Le Bonheur, Susan Helms, said judging by the extent of the children’s injuries, she believes no one was restrained in the vehicle.
Tennessee law says children younger than 12 months must be in a rear facing car seat.
From 1 years old to 3 years old, they should be in front facing seats, and kids from 4 years old to 8 years old must be in booster seats.
“I think sometimes one thinks if they’re just going a short distance that it’s OK, and it’s really never OK to not be restrained,” Helms said.
For those unable to afford car seats, there is help available.
“In Memphis and Shelby County if you are on assistance, you can call the Shelby County Health Department’s child safety seat program and a convertible child safety seat is available for $10,” Helms added.
It is assistance she hopes keeps kids safe in crashes.
“It is a horrific reminder when we see an accident like what was shown last night on the television, but accidents can happen and the last thing we want to do is be thrown from it.”
Helms said if the health department does not have car seats available due to demand, they can recommend parents to other organizations that will help.