Police have charged a 20-year-old Louisiana woman with the negligent homicide of her infant daughter after a car accident.
The mother did not cause the accident, which occurred in October 2017. The driver who caused the accident was actually a Louisiana police officer, although he was off-duty at the time. He was violating the speed limit when he drove his Corvette into a Nissan in which mother and daughter were passengers.
During the crash, the Nissan rolled over. The baby girl was strapped into a car seat, but the seat wasn't secured -- probably because the car was filled past its capacity. The Nissan was designed to handle a maximum of five, but there were four children and four adults crammed inside this particular car.
Instead of putting the child's seat in properly, the mother put it on the car's console, using the two seats in front of the car to hold it steady -- which obviously wasn't sufficient in an accident. As the car rolled, the child suffered a bruised spinal cord, trauma to her neck and a fractured cervical spine.
Initially, the Corvette's driver was the only person charged with negligent homicide related to the child's death. That charge came out of the recklessness of his speed, which was reported to be 94 mph. After the investigation into the crash was completed, however, authorities decided to charge the child's mother as well, since they believe the child may have survived if she had been properly buckled into a seat.
Cases like this serve as a reminder to the public that a motor vehicle accident can result in tremendous tragedy -- and the penalties for failing to take safety precautions can result in more than just civil liability. While you can't avoid every accident, you can do your part to reduce the harm that flows from those that do happen. If you don't, you may wind up in criminal court even if you don't face a personal injury lawsuit.
Source: abcNEWS, "Louisiana mother charged with killing 1-year-old daughter in car crash she didn’t cause," Julia Jacobo and Barbara Schmitt, March 01, 2018