Posted: Jan 14, 2012 7:01 PM by Kathy Kuretich
Updated: Jan 14, 2012 9:30 PM
The CHP says all traffic lanes have now re-opened on Highway 101 near Buellton.
Northbound lanes were closed just south of Santa Rosa Road for about five hours Saturday, as crews cleaned up debris from an accident Thursday, that killed 48-year-old Charles Allison, jr.
Officers say he was killed when his truck smashed through the bridge railing and plunged into the creek, where it burst into flames.
Before that, his rig slammed into a BMW carrying 36 year-old Kelli Groves, and her daughters, 10-year-old Sage, and 10-week-old Milo.
While investigators say it may be weeks before the cause of the crash is determined, CHP officers at the scene told us, without a properly installed car seat, things could have been a lot worse for 10- week old Milo, who reportedly... slept through the whole thing ordeal.
The dramatic images are hard to forget.
A mother and her two young children trapped inside a mangled car, dangling over a bridge.
At the scene, a CHP officer told KSBY, 10 week-old Milo, was properly seated in a rear-facing car seat, and it likely saved her life.
We talked with CHP officers about the importance of properly installed child safety seats just last month.
Officers encouraged everyone with young children to call a CHP office and have a certified officer make sure your child's seat is installed correctly... and is a proper fit.
New child safety seat laws went into effect this year.
Children must now be in a child safety seat until they turn eight years-old or reach four-feet, nine-inches tall.
"We want to protect them as much as we can. I think what we realize is that by extending this law, we can extend the protection to these kids," said Officer Rob Wallace of the California Highway Patrol.
He said child safety seats are made in a variety of makes and models... each one with different installation instructions.
Officers recommend reading the manuel... then making an appointment with an officer to check it out. Thursday's fatal accident reminded us all how important this is.
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