A family is mourning the death of a 4-year-old girl who was killed in a crash on Interstate-91 north Saturday.
State police said the girl died after the SUV she was in smashed into a concrete barrier on the highway in New Haven near exits 2 and 3.
Family members said the girl’s father was the one driving when he abruptly lost control. Troopers said they are still trying to determine why that happened.
"It flipped over and the kids were thrown,” said Michael Green, the victim’s great uncle. “They were thrown out."
Green described the crash that resulted in the death of Kamorah Stanley.
“She's a part of me, she's a part of my family,” he said.
Green said Kamorah’s father lost control of the 2002 Mercury Mountaineer before he slammed into the barrier. Two children, including Kamorah were ejected from the car.
"There’s a reason that we ask for children to be restrained, there's a reason that they are in car seats,” said D'Andrea Joseph, Hartford Hospital trauma surgeon.
Joseph said she didn't treat anyone involved in the crash, but she spoke with Eyewitness News about the severity of injuries stemming from these kind of crashes.
"We talk about severe head injuries, broken necks, people who can no longer walk or require ventilator for the rest of their life," she said.
The SUV Kamorah was in was built to hold seven people at most. State police said there were eight inside.
"Just by virtue of having several people in the car, more than the car is designed for, means you are not going to be secure," Joseph said. "You're just not really properly positioned to basically get the best outcome if you have an unfortunate event and I think this event has demonstrated that."
Joseph said it does not take a high rate of speed to cause serious injuries.
"Any speed over 40 mph is considered excessive with respect with the injury that you have sustained," she said.
That's the reason people like Estaban Romero make sure their children are secure.
"My son was 4, he always had a car seat," Romero said.
Now that Romero's son is older, he makes sure the seat belt is on at all times.
Kamorah’s two brothers, an 8-year-old boy and a 5-month-old, survived the crash. Her mother, father, grandmother and two other adults also survived.
All of them said they are still coming to grips with what happened.
"Just accepting that she's not going to be with you anymore, you know what I mean? Just accepting that she's not going to be around,” Green said.
Green also said at times, the family tries to squeeze one last person into the vehicle for trips and he believes that’s what happened. State police, however, have yet to release the results of their investigation.
According to the Department of Transportation, there were 95 road-related deaths in the first six months of this year. That's compared to 249 in all of last year.
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