The primary job of every parent is to ensure the protection and welfare of their children. Holly Wagner from Louisiana believed she’d fulfilled that duty while driving with her sons, 3-year-old Connor and 11-month-old Cameron. Both boys were strapped in, as always. Holly wasn’t yet aware of an error that would later prove fatal.
On April 27th, 2013, Holly’s boyfriend was driving with both children in the backseat. After realizing that he’d driven through a stop sign, he hit the brakes hard.
Unfortunately, it was too late: the consequences were unavoidable. There was a collision with another car leaving the boyfriend and both boys critically injured. Holly was at home when she received the tragic news from police. At the hospital, she learned that her boyfriend and older child would survive.
Eleven-month-old Cameron’s injuries were far more severe. Upon impact, the chest clip from the car seat had broken, causing the baby to be ejected from the car. Cameron underwent several emergency operations immediately following the accident, but the damage was too great.
The doctors presented Holly with the most difficult decision of her life: either watch her baby to die despite life support, or stop life support to end his suffering now. Her heart broke as she agreed to turn off the machines, yet she knew that she couldn’t watch her son suffer. On May 13th, baby Cameron passed away in Holly’s arms.
Holly learned from the police what had ultimately caused her son’s death: the buckle of the car seat was too high, the strap was too loose, and the seat itself was too big for her baby.
But the biggest mistake was that baby was sitting in a forward-facing seat. Babies and toddlers cannot adjust to impact forces due to the size of their heads. Children under four should always be strapped into a rear-facing, or “reboard,” car seat. This type of seat ensures that, if a collision happens, the impact is more evenly distributed over the body.
Only weeks before the devastating accident, Holly had posted a photo showing her son sitting in the inappropriate car seat. Nobody noticed the error or warned the mother, who believed she was doing everything right.
Today, Holly is committed to saving parents from the suffering she experienced. Using social media as a platform, she shows how to transport children correctly, provides tips, and gives interviews. You can see a video she made here:
Unfortunately, many parents continue to make the same mistakes when it comes to strapping in their children, and choosing the correct seat. It’s absolutely necessary to be well-informed: no parent should ever have to lose a child due to such an error!