Thursday, investigators inspected the mangled Nissan involved in a tremendous crash in Rutherford County that sent a two-year-old and his car seat plummeting several feet from the vehicle after his seat belt was severed.
Officials said there has been a lot of misinformation about what happened.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol said its investigation revealed the seatbelt did not malfunction.
“The crash, when it occurred, the sheet metal from the right passenger side was all pushed forward toward the right side passenger,” said Sgt. Bill Miller with THP.
He continued, “The sheet metal actually cut or severed the seatbelt.”
Officials said the seatbelt was locked into place and did exactly what the function was designed to do.
When emergency responders arrived to the wreck, Mason Carney was still in his car seat strapped in.
Officials said his car seat probably saved the toddler's life; and that's a reminder of how valuable car safety seats are.
Children's program Coordinator at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt, Chazlie Miller said 85% of all child safety seats are incorrectly installed.
“Maybe the harness straps are not in the correct position, they're not tightening the harness straps enough,” said Miller.
When a seat is installed correctly, experts said it's up to 90% effective.
Installation of a child safety seat is free at many locations, including at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
- Feb. 26, 2014: Man credits car seat for saving 2-year-old son's life
- Feb. 25, 2014: 2-year-old ejected after seatbelt severed in crash