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Family Says No Car Seat, Dad To Blame For Baby Injured In Crash

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JESSUP, Md. (WJZ) — A 4-month-old baby boy is fighting for his life after a tragic car crash in Jessup. And officials say the child was not in a car seat. It is a problem that’s causing injuries nationwide.

Meghan McCorkell has more on the accident.

Charges are pending against the father of that baby after a crash that injured his son. Late Thursday night, the baby’s condition was upgraded from critical to good condition.

Police say Matthew Mitchell was behind the wheel of a now crushed Dodge Caravan.

He was driving down Clark Road on Wednesday when he veered across the center line and crashed head-on into another car.

Mitchell’s 4-month-old son was in the lap of the front seat passenger.

“Right now, that I know of, he has a fractured skull and he had bleeding on his brain,” said Lozono Strawther, family member.

Family members of the child’s mother are furious the baby wasn’t properly restrained.

“His father is drinking and driving with a child in the front seat. A child is not supposed to be in the car with no car seat,” said Jordan Strawther.

“This child being under 1 year old, he should have been in a rear-facing child seat in the rear of that vehicle,” said Justin Mulcahy, Anne Arundel County Police.

But according to a new study, an alarming amount of parents admit they don’t always put their child in a car or booster seat.

In a survey of more than 1,000 parents, Safe Kids Worldwide found one in four admitted to driving without buckling up their children.

“They told us if they were taking a short ride or if they were driving overnight with their kids or perhaps as a reward, they felt it was OK not to buckle up for that ride,” said Kate Carr with Safe Kids Worldwide.

Wednesday’s crash happened a block from Matthew Mitchell’s listed address.

Family members say they want him criminally charged.

“He could have took five people’s lives. And that would have been horrible,” said Jordan Strawther.

Now they’re just praying their baby cousin will pull through.

Investigators are looking into whether alcohol was a factor in the crash.

The two passengers in the other car were also taken to the hospital. They are expected to survive.

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