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Additional restraint could have saved child\'s life

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BURNSIDE - State Police said a 5-year-old killed in an Ascension Parish wreck this morning wasn't properly restrained, a step which could have saved their life.

Troopers said Makell Andrews died in the wreck early this morning on Hwy. 44 near Loosemore Road. Investigators said the driver, 30-year-old Anthony K. Andrews, lost control of his pickup coming around a curve in the road. The pickup rolled, and Makell was partially ejected.

Andrews was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, but State Police said he wasn't properly restrained.

Chrystal Pichon, child safety director for the Lexlee's Kids non-profit safety group, said Andrews should have had an additional restraint.

"Booster seats are made for big kids," Pichon said. "A lot of parents are under the assumption that booster seats are for small children, but they actually are for big kids."

Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of children ages 2 to 14. The main reason for those deaths comes from improper use of child restraints. Louisiana law says a child between 40 and 60 lbs. and ages 4 to 6 should ride in a belt-positioning booster seat in the rear of the vehicle.

"When your child can look exactly the way they do in a booster seat, without one, then you know your child is ready to move on using just the vehicle seat belt," said Pichon.

Police do not suspect driver impairment, but are awaiting results from a toxicology report. No charges have been filed against the driver at this time.

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