This Mom Is Being Charged With Homicide After Making A Tragic Error Installing Her Car Seat

March 9, 2018
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Nothing can describe pain quite like losing your child and how deeply that stays with you forever.

Imagine what it would be like to hold the guilt that can come with the accidental death of a child.

Unfortunately for one Mother, she’s grieving the loss of her 1-year-old daughter who was killed in a car accident.

Brittany Stephens, is now being charged with homicide after she made a mistake that officials say contributed to her death, though she was not the one who caused the crash.

Brittany Stephens was not the person who was found at fault for the crash that happened on Oct. 12, 2017 that took the life of her 1-year-old daughter.

But police spokesman Sgt. L’Jean McKneely told The Advocate that she was arrested and charged because she “was the person responsible for the buckling of the car seat.”

A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, about 95 percent of parents make a mistake or two when it comes to how they strap and buckle their kids into the car seat.

Only 5% of parents use the infant car seat correctly without any mistakes. That’s basically all of us messing up at one point or another. And because of this reason, Brittany Stephens is being charged with the death — even though she wasn’t the one who caused the crash to begin with.

Brittany Stephens

Reports say that the Louisiana mother, Brittany Stephens, lost her 1-year-old daughter who was killed in a fatal car crash that took place last October.

The crash was caused by 28-year-old off duty police officer Christopher Manuel who was speeding.

The man crashed his 2007 Corvette into the 2002 Nissan Xterra that was being driven by Brittany. The car rolled after it was hit and the little baby.

Sevaira Stephens, was seriously injured.

Sevaira was then rushed to hospital where she later died of her injuries. The off duty police officer was found at fault for the accident and was arrested on February 16th, charged with negligent homicide and speeding, according to police.

The Coroner Dr. Beau Clark said the 1-year-old girl’s death was an accident.

The official cause was blunt force trauma to the neck with a fracture of the cervical spine. She also had a contusion, or bruise, of the cervical spinal cord. According to Dr. Clark, who told ABC News, that is a common injury that happens when a car suddenly comes to a very quick stop.

The Car Seat 

It’s not typical that you hear of a crash that ended in tragedy and the mother was later charged with homicide.

Especially because the off duty police officer was found as the one who caused the crash to begin with.

Reports however indicate that the car seat mistake Brittany Stephens made was a big one.

The child was in a car seat but it was not secured properly, Baton Rouge Police Sgt. Don Coppola Jr. told ABC News.

The 2002 Xterra only seats five passengers but there were four adults and four children were in the car, police said.

Ms. [Stephens] had told investigators that the car seat was placed on the console, wedged in between the two front seats of the vehicle,” Coppola said. “The car seat was wedged in between the two front seats.”

Speeding off-duty cop crashes into a mother’s car, kills her baby and the mom, Brittany Stephens, is charged. Foul

Off-duty officer “Christopher Manuel was driving 94mph

Manuel has been charged with negligent homicide & speeding, is on paid admin leave”https://t.co/GdzWEEgNPD pic.twitter.com/2Ro0dn2kgR

— Mike Oakenshield (@myecoll) February 28, 2018

Police spokesman Sgt. Don Coppola Jr. said the car seat was “on top of the center console, wedged between the front passenger seat and the driver’s seat,” The Advocate reported.

No one in that car was wearing a seat belt, police said. The driver and the other two adults were also cited for seat-belt violations, but are not being held responsible for Seyaira’s death because Brittany Stephens said she was the one who strapped her daughter into her seat.

Stephens’ arrest report said that “lack of securing the seat to the vehicle and the loose straps … show gross negligence,” which contributed to the child’s injuries.

Why The Arrest?

State Rep. C. Denise Marcelle said she “questioned why (the mother) would have been arrested” and “was in shock to see that they would do this.”

“She already lost a child,” said Marcelle, D-Baton Rouge. “I just think that unless I’m missing something, I’m seriously concerned about it.”

Ken Levy, LSU criminal law professor, said it was “unnecessary if not mean-spirited” to punish the mom for the death of her daughter.

“It’s very sad that a child died, but that doesn’t mean that you go and punish as many people as possible for child’s death. The principal culprit here is the officer.”

What do you think about this? Should she be charged?

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