Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on August 18th, 2016,
by Zane Cagle

Two St. Louis Toddlers Killed in Crash Near UMSL

Posted on August 18th, 2016 by Zane Cagle

Two and Three  Year Old Killed in Crash

1443720186dhpciIn my line of work, I hear about car crashes daily, but occasionally a crash will occur that is so bad that it simply takes my breath away.  When a car crash involves the death of small children, it is almost too much to comprehend.

A 3 year-old Ferguson boy and his 2 year old sister were killed in a two-car crash on Monday.  The children were riding with their mother when her car was struck by a SUV on Hanley Road west of University of Missouri-St. Louis.

A witness who tried to assist after the crash said the car was ripped apart by the force of the crash and the children were ejected.  The mother of the children said the two children were buckled in but were not in child-safety seats.

While the mother has been identified, the 19 year driver of the SUV has not and the St. Louis County Police Department’s Bureau of Crimes Against Persons is investigating the crash.

Child Safety Seats

The two vehicles collided before 9 p.m. on Monday at North Hanley Road and University Place Drive near the North Hanley MetroLink stop.  Reportedly, the mother was driving to the MetroLink stop to pick up the children’s father.  Police say the SUV was heading north on Hanley, in the far right lane.  It was approaching the intersection with University Place Drive, near the UMSL campus, when it struck the sedan carrying the two children.  Police said the children’s mother tried to make a left turn onto University Place Drive when the SUV struck the rear passenger side of the car.

The mother said she had put her children in seat belts, not child safety seats, because “we just live down the street” and she thought the ride would be so short to the MetroLink stop.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have recommendations for children riding in car seats depending on age and on size, but they do say that children should travel in child safety seats for the first four to seven years before graduating to booster seats.

Missouri law requires children younger than 4 years old or under 40 pounds to be in a child safety seat. Importance of Properly Installed Child Safety Seats.

Tragic Ending

If you occasionally take a quick trip to the store from your house or run a short errand, you might be tempted to not secure your safety belt or go through the extra few minutes it takes to put a child in a child car safety seat.  However, statistics show that you are more likely to be in crash within 10 miles of your home opposed to cross country.  It’s a common misconception that if only traveling a short distance, then we can relax our safety seat precautions.

As a parent, I know it is a pain to put both kids in a child safety seats.  It can take extra time especially if they are being uncooperative as toddlers often are. They don’t always want to be strapped in and like so many things in parenting, we sometimes have to wade through and wait—waiting or wrestling your child into a car seat is often inconvenient and takes extra time that many of us think we can maybe skip “this one time” as we are only going a short distance.

So Why Discuss This Nightmare Story?

I don’t write about this particular tragedy to draw attention or criticism to parenting which people are too quick to do on social media. When something like this happens, it is a moment when people’s attention is directed at a terrible loss and possible preventions.

Thus, safety organizations including the  National Highway Traffic Administration and KidsandCars.org discuss these tragedies to raise awareness and possibly make a difference in other people’s lives by reminding of the importance of securing your child in a child safety seat every time.

While child safety seats do not guarantee your child will not be injured or killed in a serious car crash, they do greatly reduce the chances. Often, we are not only protecting our children from our driving mistakes but from the driving errors of others.

Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death of children between 1 and 13 years of age. If you or a loved one has been injured or worse in a motor vehicle accident, you should seek legal assistance right away.

Our attorneys are available seven day a week at (314) 276-1681.