A father is crediting his son's car seat for saving his child's life after they were involved in a devastating car crash on Monday in Rutherford County.
Two-year-old Mason Carney was traveling with his father around 7 p.m. on Highway 231 near Christiana Middle School when they were rear-ended by a pickup truck.
According to authorities, Mason was properly restrained in his car seat at the time of the accident, but was ejected from the car about 60 feet after his seat belt was severed.
He remains in the pediatric intensive care unit at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in stable condition.
Mason's father, Josh Carney, told Nashville's News 2 Wednesday he believes his son's car seat ultimately saved his life.
“Half of the car was missing, so I looked at the back seat and I couldn't find my son. He wasn't in the vehicle. He was still in his car seat strapped in just like I left him. I could not believe it.” he recalled. “We're blessed that we were responsible enough to tighten those retraining belts.”
Little Mason was immediately airlifted to Vanderbilt after the tragic accident.
Josh received treatment at St. Thomas Rutherford for a fractured arm. On Tuesday, he decided to leave the hospital against doctor's orders.
“I wanted to get up here and be on my way so I could be with my son and my wife and be here for them,” he explained.
Josh added that Monday's crash is not the first tragedy he and his family have experienced recently.
In August, his cousin Shanda Carney was killed in a UPS plane crash in Alabama.
“We've been paying close attention to things like this try to do the best we can to protect our family members,” he said.
Josh and his wife both encourage all parents to double check their children's car seats to make sure they are properly installed.
“Follow the instructions to make sure your child is properly restrained,” he said. “Maybe one day you will end up experiencing the miracle we did.”
Mason is scheduled to undergo surgery Thursday. An online fund has been set up to help the family with their medical bills.
The driver of the pickup, Rodello Cenizal, was also injured in the crash, has since been released from the hospital.
Investigators said speed was a factor in the crash and charges are likely against the pickup truck driver.
Investigators are continuing to look into how the seatbelt was severed in the crash.
- Feb. 25, 2014: 2-year-old ejected after seatbelt severed in crash