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Tot Seriously Hurt By Airbag In City Wreck

Aug 27, 2004 | THE DECATUR DAILY

An airbag deployed in an accident seriously injured a 1-year-old child in the front seat of a car, Decatur police said.

Only the child suffered significant injury, police said.

Two teen boys riding their bicycles on Spring Avenue Southwest about two blocks north of Beltline Road witnessed the 7:15 p.m. crash.

"I saw the blue car drive down the street, and this car tried to turn in front of it and it hit the door," said 13-year-old Justin Allen. "An air bag hit the baby in the front seat."

Barrett Sistrunk, 15, added, "The airbag hit the woman's arm. It looked like carpet burn."

Sistrunk said the child had obvious facial injuries.

Bradford said the child was restrained in a car seat, facing the airbag. The airbag struck the child in the head, he said.

With no way of determining the severity of the child's injury at the scene, police investigated the wreck as if it were a traffic homicide.

Airbags have killed at least 18 infants in car seats across the nation, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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