By Brian Smith
Special to the Sun
On my first day as a Commander of a highway patrol office, I responded to a reported serious accident. When I arrived, I saw debris everywhere with a few cars scattered around. I exited my vehicle and started to approach the officers when I came upon a baby sleeping in his car seat in the center divider. I could not believe they would leave a baby all alone in the center divider. I called an officer over and asked why would we not be protecting the baby and who would leave a baby alone in the center divider. He looked at me and said, “Captain, the baby is dead.” He then showed me how the back of the baby’s head was missing. I was shocked to see it. I then advised him to at least cover the baby with a body blanket. Apparently, the car seat was not securely fastened in its base and when the car crashed, the seat flew out of the vehicle. The baby’s head skipped along the asphalt. I was told the mother who was driving was taken to the hospital with injuries along with her young daughter, but her twelve-year-old son and infant were killed in the accident.
I then responded to the hospital to talk to the mother. When I arrived, a priest was just walking out. I remember thinking how relieved I was that he made the death notifications to her. When I started to talk to her, I realized she didn’t know anything about the deaths. Apparently, the priest was just visiting someone in the next bed. I can’t even tell you how I felt telling her that her son and infant were killed in the crash. My stomach feels the same way now typing this as it did that day. -BS