Car Seat Saves Infant's Life in Horrific Crash

By Jennifer Newman  on January 18, 2012

The California Highway Patrol and firefighters credited a properly installed child-safety seat with saving the life of a 10-week-old infant in a deadly car crash last week near Santa Barbara, Calif. The infant’s mother, Kelli Groves of San Juan Capo, and her 10-year-old sister also survived the horrific collision on U.S. Highway 101.

A semitrailer collided with the family’s BMW 3 Series while crossing the Nojoqui Creek bridge, mangling the BMW. The semi burst into flames after plunging over the bridge and falling to the ground. The driver, Charles Allison, 48, was killed.

The car teetered on the bridge guardrail as Santa Barbara County firefighters tried to extract the three family members using the Jaws of Life. U.S. Navy Seabees, who were driving by the crash, joined the effort to save the family, using a large forklift to steady the car while firefighters removed them from the car.

All three family members survived the crash, but incredibly, the infant had the fewest injuries.

"From what I know at this time, the infant was properly secured in the car seat, which is most likely why the infant had the least amount of injuries of all three," CHP Officer Danny Maher told KCOY-TV. "I think that car seat did save her life."

This crash highlights the importance of making sure your child’s car seat is installed correctly and fits the child properly. If you’re unsure whether your child should be in a rear- or forward-facing car seat or if the seat is secure in your car, it’s time to head to a car seat check in your area. While spending an hour or two at a car seat check may not be high on your priority list, it’s a chore that will ensure your children’s safety.

 You Won’t Believe a 10-Week-Old Survived This Car Crash (

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Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Newman is a certified car-seat technician. A mom of two, she owns a 2013 Subaru Outback crammed with sports gear.  Email Jennifer