SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — A young boy died Wednesday after an airbag deployed during a crash and struck the boy, who was not restrained in a child seat.
Police identified the victim as D’mondre Brown.
They said D’mondre was sitting in the front seat of a Dodge Neon driven by his father, who failed to brake for stopped traffic and rear-ended another car. The impact caused an airbag to deploy.
“That airbag caused catastrophic injuries and the 4-and-a-half-year-old child ended up dying at the hospital from those injuries,” said Lt. Matt Pennington of the South Jordan Police Department.
The crash happened around 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon on South Jordan Parkway, just east of the Bangerter Highway intersection.
Police spent more than three hours investigating, but they are unsure why the driver didn’t stop. They don’t believe speed was a factor.
“Those airbags will go off in an under a 10 mile an hour crash,” Pennington said.
Police believe this accident had deadly consequences because the child wasn’t properly restrained in a child seat.
“We see accidents like this almost daily, and very rarely is there significant injury,” Pennington said. “What is typically a minor rear-end accident, has turned into a tragic incident.”
Utah law states children up to age 8 must be properly restrained in a car seat or a booster seat, and it is recommended that children under the age of 13 ride in the back seat of a vehicle.
“That airbag is coming out at approximately 200 miles per hour,” Pennington said. “Even though you might be going forward at only 30, that's a 230 mile per hour collision with your body.”
No one else involved in the accident suffered serious injuries. Police do not believe impairment was a factor. The driver is cooperating with the investigation.
“You can understand, he’s crushed,” Pennington said. “I don’t know about you, but I can’t even imagine losing my child in an accident like this.”