Toddler Buckled Into Ill-Fitting Car Seat is Sole Survivor of Quadruple Fatal Wreck

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DETROIT – “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.”

So says Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw of the car seat that was holding a 1-year-old during an I-94 crash near Detroit Monday that claimed the lives of four unbuckled adults.

The sole survivor of the crash was the toddler. “The baby was in the car seat,” witness John Wade tells WXYZ-TV of the 1 a.m. crash. “That was the only thing that probably … saved the baby.” The AP and Free-Press report the Buick SUV was driving at high speeds in Harper Woods when the driver tried to pass another car, lost control, careened across the lanes, and ended up striking a bridge.

The dead have been identified as driver Doreal Rogers, 20; front-seat passenger Alesia Maddox, 20; and Armonie Maddox and Ervin Johnson, both 18, who were in the back.

The Maddoxes were brother and sister. The front-seat passengers were pinned in the car by the impact; those in the back were ejected. The child, who belonged to Alesia Maddox, had just turned one on Saturday.

First responders described the crash as one of the worst they’ve seen. “Just the amount of carnage I guess involved in this crash, it kind of set a lot of people back,” says Shaw.

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