Toddler in improperly installed car seat severely injured in Durham head-on crash, documents show

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – An 18-month-old child suffered “severe life-threatening injuries” in a head-on crash in Durham on Thursday morning, according to a search warrant.

The crash was reported around 5:48 a.m. at T.W. Alexander Drive between Miami Boulevard and Weck Drive.

A 2012 Ford Fusion was driving the wrong way in the eastbound lanes of T.W. Alexander Drive when it crashed head-on into a 2006 Cadillac Escalade driven, police said.

Police believe the woman driving the Fusion was making a left turn from South Miami Boulevard onto T.W. Alexander Drive and turned onto the wrong side of the divided highway.

The woman and an 18-month-old boy who was a passenger were taken to the hospital. Both had serious injuries. The driver of the Escalade was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries, police said.

According to a search warrant for the Fusion, both the driver and the toddler suffered life-threatening injuries. The warrant described the child’s injuries as “severe.”

The warrant shows that the severity of the little boy’s injuries was likely due to an improperly installed car seat. He was sitting in a rear-facing baby seat that was put in the car facing forward “and was secured to the vehicle using the seat belt path across the lap section of the seat.”

According to the warrant, “As a result of the seat being improperly installed…the baby seat failed during the impact.”

The baby seat’s shoulder straps broke off of the seat, the warrant says and “the seat belt path was broken on both sides of the seat.”

No charges have been filed at this time.

For more information on how to safely install a car seat, click here.

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