A single-vehicle wreck on the interstate through Portsmouth, Virginia (VA), left a 5 year old and an 8 year old dead. Neither of the deceased girls were restrained in booster seats or wearing seatbelts.
The deadly crash occurred mid-afternoon September 7, 2015, near the Greenwood Drive exit from I-264. According to state police, the driver of the SUV in which the children lost their lives was exceeding the speed limit by more than 20 miles per hour and lost control when she attempted a sudden lane change. She ran off the road and collided with a stand of trees, causing both of the girls to get ejected from the vehicle and fatally injured. A 1-year-old infant who was properly secured in an infant safety seat survived the crash unhurt.
Criminal charges filed against the at-fault driver include second-degree murder, fleeing from a traffic stop, reckless driving and multiple counts of child neglect. That last set of charges could reflect both the driver's dangerous actions while operating the SUV and her failure to ensure that each of the children in her care were buckled up in booster seats.
Consistent and correct use of seatbelts and safety seats prevents innumerable injuries and deaths. Every parent and caregiver must take the time to strap youngsters in. This obligation is even written into Virginia law, which requires safety seats for children until they reach 8 years of age. Continued use of boosters seats is recommended until a child reaches a height of 4 feet 9 inches and a weight of more than 40 pounds.