Law Enforcement Stress Importance Of Keeping Children In Child Safety Restraints - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

03/21/05 - Lufkin

Law Enforcement Stress Importance Of Keeping Children In Child Safety Restraints

by Stuart Burson

A woman is facing manslaughter charges after her one month old baby was killed in a traffic accident Sunday in Lufkin. Another woman in the car she was driving was holding the child in the front seat when the accident happened.

Police say nineteen year old Daniela Gonzalez was driving on the wrong side of the road on Denman Avenue Sunday when she struck a pickup truck. Police now tell us she was chasing after her sister who took a family car. Now, Gonzalez is looking at manslaughter charges.

Whether they're the parent or not, it's the drivers responsibility to make sure children riding in vehicles are properly restrained.

"Anytime that anybody gets in a vehicle and they're the driver... they're going to drive that vehicle... they're responsible for the people inside that vehicle. Anytime we're talking about minors, anyone under fifteen." says DPS Spokesman Greg Sanches.

If a child is killed in an accident and wasn't properly restrained, the price the driver could pay can be more than just a fine.

"We are looking at a felony situation that could be very... not only costly, but also the fact that they could spend some time in prison, but also the fact that you've got to live with it, knowing that you could have secured that child and kept them safe." says Sanches.

Texas state law requires a child to be in a child restraint system if they're under four years of age, or are less than thirty-six inches tall. A violation of this law, can mean a fine of up to two hundred dollars for the driver.

In addition to manslaughter charges, Daniela Gonzalez is also facing charges of driving without a license and driving without insurance.

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