Car seat problem contributed to death of 4-year-old in Moore County crash, troopers say

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Thursday, September 21, 2023
Mother, 4-year-old child killed in Moore County crash
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State Highway Patrol says a driver crossed the center line on Highway 690 near Vass and hit another car.

MOORE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- A mother and her 4-year-old child died during a head-on crash in Moore County.

Crews responded to the scene around 9 p.m. Wednesday night in the Town of Vass.

North Carolina State Highway Patrol said the mother, Dakota Sky Morris-Zolman, crossed the center line on Highway 690 and hit another car head-on.

Her son, Isaiah Thyme Morris, was in a car seat in the back seat of the car. However, investigators said he was not properly restrained and the car seat was not properly installed. Isaiah died at the scene.

Investigators determined the boy's restraint was under his arm, instead of over his chest and shoulder.

"The problem with that is if it's routed under the arm, number one, it's improperly fastened. And that goes against the state seatbelt statute. The statute states that you have to have it properly fastened and properly fastened would be across the shoulder and not under the arm. The reason for that is if you're impacted, you have something to keep you from going forward and to keep your body intact," Sgt. Christopher Smith said.

Morris-Zolman was airlifted to the hospital. She died a few hours later.

The driver of the vehicle Morris-Zolman crashed into was also airlifted to the hospital for treatment. They remain there as of Thursday afternoon.

A passenger in the other vehicle was treated on scene for minor injuries.

SHP said they do not believe drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash, but speeding may have been a factor.

No charges are being filed at this time.