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Baby killed when SUV flips in Raleigh

Posted June 28, 2011

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— A 10-month-old girl was killed Tuesday when her mother's SUV overturned, pinning the child underneath, authorities said.

Heather Lucas was driving on Lake Wheeler Road at about 11 a.m. when she lost control of her 1993 Ford Explorer near Penny Road, authorities said. She over-corrected, causing the vehicle to flip twice and slam into a tree in a roadside ditch.

Sophia Peetc was thrown from her car seat, and the SUV landed upside-down on top of her, killing her instantly, authorities said.

"The infant was under the vehicle," Sgt. Kevin Shallington of the state Highway Patrol said. "It's a tragedy."

Shallington said the car seat wasn't secured tightly in the back seat, and the straps holding the girl in place were too loose.

"When you're putting your kid in a child's seat, make sure it's tight. Make sure it's secure," he said. "We have car seat programs that go on at different locations. ... Come by the Highway Patrol office. We'll check your seat to make sure it's tied in properly."

Lake Wheeler Road wreck Baby killed when SUV flips in Raleigh

Lucas, 24, was taken to WakeMed for treatment of injuries that didn't appear to be life-threatening. She was wearing a seat belt, Shallington said.

Troopers said speed didn't appear to be a factor in the wreck, but the case remains under investigation.

Lake Wheeler Road was closed for more than two hours after the crash, reopening shortly after 1:30 p.m.


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  • dustinrlucas Jul 1, 2011

    this is the family of heather lucas,we appreciate all the kind words,thoughts and prayers from everyone.We are doing all we can do to remain strong in the midst of this terrible situation.It is extremely hard for us,but we know that with God all things are possible.please continue to pray for heather as she is trying to make it through this.due to these most unfortunate circumstances we have set up a fund for any additional costs of the funeral arrangments for sophia,seeing as though heather is a single mom and is not financially capable of doing it on her own,so if you are interested all you have to do is go to any wachovia and ask about the (sophia peetz) fund and go from there,any little bit will help immensely and be greatly appreciated.God bless you all and thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

  • stephaniebeemer Jun 29, 2011


    The above is a link to search for a CPST (Certified Passenger Safety Technician)

    Police stations or fire stations don't often know much about car seat safety - a CPST has gone through a week long course in car safety...
    Get your car seat checked out!

  • Squirreling Dervish Jun 29, 2011

    enter the info where requested and you should be able to locate a Inspection Station near you......


  • Big Daddy B Jun 29, 2011

    your local Police station will do it.....

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Jun 29, 2011

    Keep the government out of our lives!

    If people don't want to have baby seats or buckle their babies...they should be free to put their children's lives in danger. We certainly don't need Big Government stepping in.

    What's next? Requiring seat belts to save adult lives? Sheesh!


  • staffordtrainingshowhorses Jun 29, 2011

    I called the fire station today but they said they no longer check the car seats. Does anyone know where I can get it checked out. Im worried now!!!

    Try EMS, Police, and Highway patrol they all do it as well as Fire department here.

  • anne53ozzy Jun 29, 2011

    No words to speak...No greater sorrow..I hope in time the mother can realize that this was a terrible accident and not her fault. God bless her and the family as they grieve and recover in some sense from this.

  • asadsaher Jun 29, 2011

    I called the fire station today but they said they no longer check the car seats. Does anyone know where I can get it checked out. Im worried now!!!

  • ncdixie1 Jun 29, 2011

    As sad as this story is maybe just maybe the owners of the car seats and babies will take the extra time required to properly secure the baby seats. I realize it's a complicated operation BUT this ounce of prevention may possibly save a kids life. The seats are designed the way they are for a purpose not to cause momma extra headache.

  • freedomrings Jun 29, 2011

    This splits my heart in two. I heard about it yesterday and actually went today to have ours checked. How utterly horrific for this mother.

    I remember one day when I took my son in his carrier to the grocery store and then loaded the groceries and baby into the car. When I got home, I realized I had not strapped the actual car seat belt through the carrier, meaning if anyone had hit us, he would have flown through the car in his seat. I was a very exhausted new mom, but it did not stop the tears from flowing when I realized my terrible mistake. My deepest, most sincere and heartfelt prayers for this mother.