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Troopers: Alcohol factor in wreck that killed 7-year-old

Posted January 17, 2010
Updated January 18, 2010

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— State troopers said that speed and alcohol were factors in a single-vehicle wreck that killed a 7-year-old Linden boy Sunday night.

Trooper Stefon Fay said that an SUV driven by James David Carter II, 22, of Linden, ran off the right side of Palestine Road, at Short Ridge Road, north of Fayetteville, shortly before 9 p.m. Carter lost control of the SUV, and it rolled over multiple times.

Nathaniel Brett Thames, 7, died.

Carter, who is the boyfriend of Nathaniel's mother, was taken to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. His injuries were non-life-threatening.

Nathaniel was wearing a seat belt but was not in a child safety seat, Trooper J.B. Jones said.

Jones said that troopers will meet with the District Attorney's Office Tuesday to discuss pending charges.

Palestine Road was closed for more than three hours after the wreck.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • wakeresident Jan 21, 2010

    cghs mom, a properly installed car seat would never trap a child.

    I'm surprised everyone is just shocked at this. Call Safe Kids, the people who certifiy car seat techs, if you don't believe me. I hear that everyone is surprised, because no one else does it, but I know my child is safe. Go to Babies R Us and read the convertible car seat manuals. They say you can forward face them, but they are tested up to 35 pounds rear facing. There is a new seat called the Graco My Ride 65 that even rear faces children to 40 pounds, depending on their height.

    I get very frustrated at people who have no clue what they are talking about spreading myths about child care seat safety. You'd THINK people would want what is best and safest for their child and not what they assume would be best. Do some research on it, and the numbers will shock you.

  • wakeresident Jan 21, 2010

    JAT, that is an excellent question, and one I had myself. I posted a link below, and if you scroll through that page, it will address it. She actually sits cross legged, so it doesn't bother her. The idea is that in an accident, the stress is on their head if they face forward, and since kids have bigger heads in proportion to their body, the impact can literally sever their spinal cord. Broken legs can be fixed, though there has never been a reported injury of that type from a rear facing toddler. Broken necks.. not so much. Also, google "why extended rear face" and you can see crash tests for the same kid forward and rear facing. It is pretty disturbing!

    There are height and weight requirements to rear face, and you HAVE to follow those. The seat she is in is the head has to be an inch below the plastic shell and she has to be 35 pounds or less. She is 27 pounds, and about 4 inches below the top.

  • wakeresident Jan 21, 2010

    garrettsmom, if your husband were a car seat technician, he would want to know how much my child weighed and how tall she was before recommending she forward faced. She is in a compass true fit seat, and is small for her age. In fact, she couldn't legally forward face until 18 months, and even then it was soaking wet. Safe Kids is the people who certify all car seat technicians. Here is a link from their website about rear facing.


    Your husband might want to review the recommendations before he tells people to turn their kids around. I am going through my certification right now. I'm not trying to be rude, but it is dangerous to not follow recommendations.

    It's more stupid to drive drunk, however, and this tragedy could have been avoided.

  • mammasthree Jan 21, 2010

    I live in Linden and this child went to my childs school. It is so sad and shameful that a young innocent child is killed by the ones that are to protect him and here you all sit arguing about booster seats. If anything the moral of this sad, sad story is... dont drink and drive and always folow state reccomended laws on car seats. Something tells me that they make these laws for a good reason and would not have passed it if it didn't need to be. God bless everyone affected by this tragedy and god willing someone will be saved from not putting their child in a booster seat.

  • wakeconative4ever Jan 18, 2010

    wakeresident...you may want to check on having your 2 year old rear facing....my husband is a state trooper and a certified car seat tech and he said a 2 year old should be forward facing in a 5 point harness...not trying to make you mad, but please check it out...i would hate for your child to get injured!

  • sparfitt Jan 18, 2010

    Yeah unless you have a very tiny two year old, I am thinking rear facing doesn't seem quite right. I have never heard of that either. Once they are a year old and atleast 20 pounds they should face forward in a five point harness preferably in the middle if you are able.

  • SaltlifeLady Jan 18, 2010

    Wakeresident: Just curious. I am a pediatric nurse and very familiar with the carseat laws as well as te way the car seats are made and fitted.How in the world does your two year old fit and sit comfortably in a rearfacing car seat? I have never heard of any car seat safety person recommending that, nor would I think it is safe for the child. It seems like there would be a chance of the child pushing against the back seat enough for their leg to possibly then slide down and get trapped between the car seat and the child safety seat. Also, I would also think proportionally, with the child's weight, the child would not be best restrained in this position in the event of a severe accident and the seat would be more at risk of coming loose . I have just never, ever heard of this. Minimally, your child must have no leg room whatsoever and must be miserable riding in the car.

  • mewuvbb Jan 18, 2010

    Ban Alcohol in the Bars! Will help get drunk drivers off the roads.

  • JAT Jan 18, 2010

    wakeres - aren't your child's legs hitting the seat? I would think that would be more dangerous than facing him forward at age 2. A collision would jam his legs up. Just curious.

  • FromClayton Jan 18, 2010

    I can't imagine him being in a car seat or booster at that age!I can imagine all the other kids making a laughing stock for it though." WCUMOM

    Yeah new law came through a few years ago. They gotta be in a car seat forever now. So the other kids arn't laughing because they are in one too. Hefty fine for the parents if you dont do it.