Improperly restrained child killed after car wreck in Burnside

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POSTED: Monday, January 28, 2013 - 6:30pm

UPDATED: Monday, January 28, 2013 - 7:09pm

A 5-year-old died this morning after a crash in Ascension Parish. People who live in the area say they've been warning lawmakers about the safety of LA-44 for a while. However, troopers with the State Police say this wreck is more reflective of the need for seat belts and car seat checks.

"In the event of a crash or a rollover, they keep people from being ejected from the vehicle," says Jared Sandifer, a Louisiana State Trooper.

But someone was ejected from their vehicle. In this case a 5-year-old child, who was not in a car seat and not buckled up.

"We believe they lost control of the vehicle on a curve and ran off the roadway," noted Officer Sandifer.

It's a scene that residents say has become all too common along the stretch of Highway 44 in Ascension Parish. One council member, Kent Schexnaydre, told NBC33 he's told state lawmakers to do something for years.

"Accidents are happening from the interstate to Pelican Point on this grossly in adequate and unsafe road," says Councilman Schexnaydre.

The road is already extremely narrow and the speed limit has gone from 45 to 55 miles per hour, so if you’re not wearing seat belt, it’s a combination for a deadly disaster.

"Were begging for some help to promote safety measures on this stretch of highway,” noted Councilman Schexnaydre. “If you go a little further down all the residences have complained."

So while Kent Schexnaydre works to once again try and make the road safer, State Police say it's critical to make sure you and your passengers are restrained.

"Children are in car seats for a reason because they are smaller than adults they don't fit in a seat belt like adults do," says Sandifer.

The father who was driving at the time was sent to the hospital as well with minor injuries. The crash is still under investigation.

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