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Hometown: Germantown, Maryland
Safety seat secured since: 1999
Hi, my name is Chritine and this is my story. Around noon one Friday in February 1999, my 3-year-old, Collin; my 5-year-old, Stephen; and I were on our way to their Grandma's house. It was unsually warm that day, so warm the boys took their winter jackets off. As we apprached the intersection, I kind of heard a voice sayng the dump truck on the road to my right wasnt going to stop. I thought, "He's got a stop sign, of course he's going to stop." But the truck ran the stop sigh and slammed into my minivan's passenger side. The truck pushed the van's middle seats up off the floorboard, and the grille was just six inches shy of hitting Stephen, who was on the van's back bench.
The truck driver helped me get out and helped the kids out. My nose was shattered. Collin, who was in his car seat in one of the middle seats, was wide eyed and shocked but OK. Stephen was bloody, pale and briefly unconscious, but he only had cuts and bruises, and his seat was buckled in tightly. Had he not been in a booster seat and buckled in right, he could have been thrown out the window.
A passerby took us to the hostpital. When the police got to the hostpital and asked me what happened, all I could say was, "I went to a car seat check yesterday, and if I hadn't they'd be dead."
It's really eerie why I went to the seat check that day. I took our brand-new Oldsmobile Silhouette van to the dealership [Fitzgerald Auto Mall in Gaithersburg, Md.], and they said "Hey, we see that you have child seats. We're having a seat check; why don't you come? So lucky for me I went and got their seat checked out and they got them in the van properly. It was like fate!!
The photos I have attached are of my van. One is after the wreck and the other is the day we bought it. The picture of it before was taken right when we got home with it, I loved that van!!
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