Driver of fatal car crash charged with additional charges, emergency officials talk car seat safety

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BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WECT) – An 8-month-old baby died in a car crash last month after driver Brittany Pope hit a tree. She was first charged with DWI – District Attorney Jon David said a grand jury has now added felony motor vehicle death and felony child abuse charges.

Hickory Grove Fire Department, Bladen County EMS and Highway Patrol answered the call.

“Any time a child is involved in any type of accident, it’s always a tragic event,” said Bladen County Emergency Services Manager Nathan Dowless.

Highway Patrol told WECT that the infant’s car seat was not properly buckled.

“Child car seats are obviously required by law. Statistics show, with Safe Kids, that 71% of accidents, [where] a child dies can be prevented by car restraints,” Dowless added.

He said about 50% of car seats are installed incorrectly, even though the driver might think so.

He encourages anyone who has children in car seats to stop by a fire department or health department to check their little ones are safe.

“Periodically in Bladen County we do these car seat safety checks, at the fire departments, the health department, and of course other agencies throughout the county,” Dowless said. . “We have a number of people who are trained or are in the process of being trained on this security.”

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