The media report everyone was wearing a seat belt when a two-vehicle collision took the life of a 15-year-old from Macclenny, Friday evening, July 15. The teen and her older sister were in a 2002 Lexus driving to church on U.S. Highway 90 west of County Road 121. The driver of the Lexus reportedly blacked out behind the wheel and lost control of the Lexus, then traveled into the oncoming lane where she hit a westbound Hyundai with three people inside on the passenger side of the Lexus.
The 30-year-old Hyundai driver from Baldwin suffered serious injuries and two children inside the car, ages 6 and 9, suffered minor injuries. The 15-year-old was taken to Shands Medical Center in Jacksonville where she lost her life. The Lexus driver had minor injuries. According to articles from Channel 4 and First Coast News, everyone was wearing their seat belts and alcohol was not a factor.
Our condolences go out to the friends and family of the student from Baker High School who loved reading, music, and computers. Please keep them in your prayers.
Charges are reported to be pending following a Florida Highway Patrol investigation of the fatal Florida car crash.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages two and up. Proper restraint can help reduce those deaths, but there are cases where airbags and seat belts fail to do their job.
Airbags can be dangerous to children who are sitting too far forward in the front seat. When the airbag discharges at 200 mph, it can cause injuries such as burns, broken bones, and trauma to the face and head. A seat belt that fails to properly latch gives a motorist a false sense of security.
Torn or ripped webbing, a retractor failure, and false latching allowing the latch plate to pull out of the buckle and can result in serious injuries and even death from a defective seat belt.
The family of this teen would be well-advised to initiate an investigation with the help of an experienced car accident lawyer in Florida to determine if there were other factors other than the impact from the collision that may have contributed to her death. If a seat belt or air bag failed to protect the occupant, the auto or component manufacturer can be held responsible for the wrongful death of this young teen.
Source: http://www.news4jax.com/news/28570794/detail.html, http://www.firstcoastnews.com/rss/article/211100/3/15-Year-Old-Macclenny-Girl-Dies-In-Accident, http://www.bakercountypress.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1326:teen-killed-in-us-90-crash-others-injured&catid=59:news&Itemid=57 and http://www.iihs.org/research/qanda/child_passenger.html