Crash proves car seats save lives

Lourdes Parham says her car hit a slick spot on a Creedmoor road and the next thing she knew she was upside down in a ditch.

June 30, 2011 4:14:04 PM PDT
Lourdes Parham says her car hit a slick spot on a Creedmoor road and the next thing she knew she was upside down in a ditch.

"The car turned around and flipped over onto the other side of the road and into the ditch. The car was literally leaning into the ditch on my side," she recalled.

Parham wasn't alone in the car. Her son was buckled in the front with her and her daughter and 2-year-old niece were in back.

Parham had just taken advantage of a free car seat inspection and installation at Rex hospital a month before she crashed.

During that inspection, she learned the car seat she was going to use for her niece was more than 6-years-old and inspectors recommended she buy a new one.

She did, and says she thinks that made all the difference in the crash. The little girl survived when the car flipped.

"The whole car was flipped over, so she was actually backwards and dangling down. But because her safety seat was so secure, she was able to be alive - no head injuries or anything - and we've made sure the car seat was still fine," said Parham.

Parham said she wanted to share her story after learning about a fatal accident in Wake County Tuesday. A 10-month-old died when she was thrown through the sunroof of a SUV in a rollover accident. The Highway Patrol said the child's car seat wasn't set up properly.

"My life was saved because of that, and hurts me that that little girl wasn't properly… I don't know what the mom is feeling, but I feel deeply for her," said Parham.

The Triangle has seen other amazing survival stories thanks to car seats. A mother was killed in an accident on Guess Road in Orange County last year, but her little girl lived.

"That car seat, if it hadn't been buckled in properly, she might not have survived. The baby is alive because of what she did," said the child's father James Thrash.

Click here for more information about how you can get your safety seat checked out.

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