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Three Children Suffer Serious Injuries in I-81 Crash; Driver Charged

Three children were rushed to the hospital with serious injuries after the car they were in overturned, in an accident which happened near Weyers Cave in Augusta County.

According to police, the three children, ages 4, 5, and 9, were passengers in a vehicle which was being driven by a man who was not the parent of any of the children. Police did not release what the man’s relationship to the victims was.

The car was traveling on Interstate 81, when one of the tires of the vehicle blew, causing the driver to lose control of the car. The vehicle struck a guardrail and flipped over.

Police say that none of the children were wearing seat belts or restrained in booster seats. Two of the children were ejected from the car when it overturned.  Both victims were transferred form the accident scene to Sentara RMH, but were later transferred to UVA Medical Center. The third child was transported immediately from the accident to UVA.

The driver of the car is being treated for his injuries at Sentara RMH. Investigating officers say the driver did not have a valid driver’s license. He has been charged with reckless driving, as well as three counts of child restraint violations.

In Virginia, the law requires that every child under the age of 8-years-old be properly secured in a child safety seat or booster seat, regardless of weight or height. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, recommend that children who are between the ages of 4- and 7-years-old, the ages of the two youngest victims of this accident, should be in forward-facing car seat until they outgrow the seat’s weight/height recommendations. At that point, they should be placed in a booster seat with a lap-and-shoulder seat belt fitting securely across the child’s chest and thighs. Children who are between the ages of 8 to 12 should be in a booster seat until they become 4 feet 9 inches tall. Then they should always use the vehicle’s seat belt.

If your child has been injured in an accident caused by a negligent driver, contact an experienced Virginia personal injury attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for your family's pain and loss.
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