Police: Toddler buckled into ill-fitting car seat is only survivor of crash that killed 4
The Associated Press
Generic photo of a police car. (Pixabay)
HARPER WOODS, Mich. (AP/Meredith) — A 1-year-old child who was improperly buckled into a car seat was the only survivor of a freeway crash in suburban Detroit early Monday morning that killed four young adults also traveling in the SUV, police said.
The sport utility vehicle was speeding past other vehicles in the left eastbound lane of Interstate 94 in Harper Woods about 1 a.m. Monday when the 20-year-driver, Doreal Rodgers, lost control, crossed three lanes and hit a bridge, Michigan State Police said in a statement.
Rodgers, front-seat passenger, Alesia Maddox, and rear seat passengers, Armonie Maddox and Ervin Johnson, were not wearing seatbelts and died instantly, police said.
Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw told WXYZ-TV that the child, who only suffered minor injuries, was improperly buckled into the car seat.
"It wasn't the right age, it wasn't the right fit, it wasn't the right anything and still saved this kid's life,” said Lt. Shaw.
At least two other passengers were ejected from the SUV during the crash.
Rodgers, Alesia Maddox, 20, and Armonie Maddox, 18, were from Detroit. Johnson, 18, lived in nearby Eastpointe. Police initially said the child was two and the adults were as old as 25.
"The baby was in the car seat," witness John Wade told WXYZ-TV. "That was the only thing that probably ... saved the baby."
The eastbound lanes were closed for several hours on Monday morning following the crash.
State police said a traffic crash reconstruction unit is investigating.
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