Troopers urge folks to buckle kids up after second crash in less than a week kills a parent and their child

NEWPORT, N.C. (WNCT) – A second family mourned Monday after another crash in less than a week killed a parent and their child.

Last Tuesday WNCT told you about a mother and her unrestrained child who were killed in an accident on NC 58.

Now, troopers say a father and his son are dead after a Sunday crash in Newport on Old Windberry Road.

They say 31-year-old George Guthrie was driving with his 8-year-old son Brayden on his lap when he crossed the center line hitting an oncoming vehicle.

Trooper Rob Melby says he believes this is a case of distracted driving and says despite whether you know the roads or not, children should always be properly restrained whether in a car seat or with a seat belt.

“They have no say in this, you’re the adult, you’re the driver, you’re responsible for that child,” said Trooper Melby with the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

An eight-year-old boy and his father are dead after the father was driving with the son on his lap Sunday afternoon.

After two accidents in the past week involving children not being properly secured in the car, troopers are urging folks to know the risks their children face if parents do not put them in car seats or buckle up.

“If you have a child it’s very important you keep them restrained and keep them in their occupied area,” said Trooper Melby.

According to the Onslow County Partnership for Children, recent statistics show that about 72 percent of child passenger safety seats are being misused or not properly installed.

“It is recommended that children under the age of 13 always remain in the backseat,” said Sara Cariaso, a program specialist for the partnership.

Trooper Melby says despite the victims driving down this road on a daily basis and knowing the road conditions, these types of accidents can happen in the blink of an eye.

“It’s just that one time that’s all it takes, you might get away with it several times and just that one time the other vehicle comes around the curve and just in the right place at the right time, bad things happen,” said Trooper Melby.

The driver of the other vehicle was wearing a seat belt and suffered minor injuries, his four-year-old son who was properly restrained suffered no injuries.

A doctor at Carteret Healthcare’s emergency room also told WNCT that nine out of 10 accidents involve children not properly restrained.

Trooper Melby says there are resources available for those who want to make sure their car seats are properly secured.

Those resources include visiting your local police station, fire station or highway patrol office to have a technician look over your car seat.

You can also visit the Onslow County Partnership for Children who have staff on hand that can assist you.

If you want to find a local checking station, you can also visit for a full list of places to check.

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