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UPDATE: Parents Charged in Deadly Crash

By: Olivia Fecteau; Jeremy Edwards Email
By: Olivia Fecteau; Jeremy Edwards Email
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UPDATE 10/9/13 @ 11 a.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A mother and father are behind bars after a car crash that killed their baby boy.

Jessica and Shawn Souther were arrested Tuesday and charged with child neglect resulting in death.

Jackson County Sheriff's Deputies tell WSAZ.com they did not have their 1-year-old son strapped in a safety seat correctly when they were involved in an accident.

The accident happened on Interstate 77 near the Kenna exit in Jackson County, W.Va.

Jessica Souther was driving when she lost control, hit the median and rolled several times.



UPDATE 9/25/13 @ 6:30 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Deputies in Jackson County, W.Va., say a baby boy who was killed in a crash in August was not properly restrained in his child safety seat.

The accident happened Aug. 20 on I-77 near the Kenna exit. The Jackson County Sheriff's Department tells WSAZ.com Jessica Souther was driving south in a pickup truck when she lost control, hit the median and rolled into the northbound lanes. Jessica Souther, Shawn Souther and their 21-month-old son were all thrown from the truck, and the baby later died of his injuries.

Deputies have filed warrants for Jessica and Shawn Souther, who live in Parkersburg, W.Va. When they are arrested, they will be charged with child neglect resulting in death due to the baby not being strapped in properly.

It's not the first time a child has been injured from not being properly restrained in a child safety seat. Police say it's crucial to make sure child safety seats are installed the right way to keep kids safe.

"The seat belt itself wasn't installed inside the vehicle, the child was just inside the seat itself," Charleston Police Cpl. Kevin Oldham said. "All it did was keep the child in the seat as the seat left the vehicle. So it's not going to save the child if it's involved in a collision."

Oldham says this is an issue they see too frequently. For children younger than 2 years old, like the baby who died in this crash, Oldham says a rear-facing car seat should be hooked into the car, into which the child should be belted.

"It's got the five-point harness on it," Oldham said. "The harness itself is what keeps the child in the seat, not the safety belt."

The criminal complaint says the child's "car seat was not properly placed in the vehicle by the safety belts of the vehicle nor the safety belts provided with the child safety seat" and that "the center seat belt of the vehicle appeared not to have been placed on the child seat at the time of the vehicle accident."

Oldham says booster seats for older children should be placed somewhere there's a shoulder belt, on either the right or left side of the car. He noted that parents should check their car and safety seat manuals, since every car is different.

"Sometimes installing a seat can be complicated, and really, for me, as a father myself, I like to know that the seat's been properly installed," Oldham said.

West Virginia laws require children to ride in car seats until they're eight years old.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 9/25/13 @ 9:20 a.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Warrants have been filed in connection with a crash that has left a baby boy dead.

The accident happened on August 20th on I-77 near the Kenna exit.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Department tells WSAZ.com Jessica Souther was driving south, when she lost control, hit the median and rolled into the northbound lanes.

Jessica, Shawn Souther and a one year-old baby boy were all thrown from the truck.

The baby died from his injuries.

Deputies say they have filed warrants for Jessica and Shawn. When they are arrested they'll be charged with child neglect resulting in death.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



UPDATE 8/21/13 @ 10:20 a.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A baby has died after a car crash on I-77 in Jackson County, W.Va.

The accident happened about 4 p.m. Tuesday near the Kenna exit.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Department tells WSAZ.com Jessica Souther was driving south, when she lost control, hit the median and rolled into the northbound lanes.

Jessica, Shawn Souther and a one year-old baby boy were all thrown from the truck.

They were flown to the hospital, where the baby died from his injuries.

Jessica and Shawn are still in the hospital.

Deputies say it does not appear they were wearing seatbelts. The baby was in a child safety seat but deputies say it does not appear it was installed properly.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 8/20/13 @ 9:45 p.m.
JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- I-77 North has reopened in Jackson County, W.Va., after a single car crash.

The accident happened just before 4 p.m. near the Kenna exit.

Police say the driver of a pickup truck was heading South, lost control, went into the median and flipped into the northbound lanes.

Three people, including an infant, were thrown from the truck. They were all flown to the hospital. Their names and conditions have not been released.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.



ORIGINAL STORY 8/20/13
JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- I-77 North is closed in Jackson County, West Virginia because of a single car crash.

The accident happened just before 4 p.m. near the Kenna exit.

Dispatchers say three people have been hurt.

We have a crew headed to the scene. Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest information.


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