It was a small story with few details in our paper this week.
39-year-old Kimberly Frazier was driving a Chevy Blazer south on U.S. 1 in Flagler County in northeast Florida. She came upon a moving truck being driven by James Wilkes, 50, of Green Cove Springs, west of Jacksonville.
It was broad daylight so no one knows why her vehicle clipped the semi tractor-trailer. It caused her to lose control of the Chevy and overturn. She died at the scene of the Florida auto accident. Frazier was not wearing her seat belt.
In the back seat was a one-year-old child strapped into the SUV. It was one of the last things that Frazier did. The child survived with no reported injuries.
There is no further word on whether this one-year-old, named Hannah Leveile, was her child.
All 50 states require child safety seats, the best defense against the number one killer of children, motor vehicle crashes.
But in Florida, 80 percent of child restraints have been found to be incorrectly installed. Either the harness was misused or the seat was not anchored properly to the car. Sometimes people even put an infant seat in the front of a vehicle which for obvious reasons is a bad idea.
Don’t think child safety seats only apply to infants. Children who have outgrown a toddler seat around the age of four should be placed in a booster seat until they are at least eight years old or 4′ 9″. And all kids 12 and younger should sit in the back seat.
Seat belts are required for adults too.
Your risk of death, if you are in a FL auto accident, is five times higher without a seat belt since you are more likely to be thrown from the vehicle. With a seat belt you can stay in control of the car.
The majority of infants killed in auto accidents are the result of someone failing to correctly install the child safety seat, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
But Frazier made none of those common mistakes when it came to caring for the infant. If only she had shown the same care for herself.
That’s what makes her death from the auto accident in Florida especially sad and ironic.
DMV Mandatory seat belt laws in Florida