The Car Seat That Saved Our Son's Life; Motoring

By Williams, David | The Evening Standard (London, England), June 20, 2003 | Go to article overview

The Car Seat That Saved Our Son's Life; Motoring


Williams, David, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: DAVID WILLIAMS

CAR seat maker Britax is used to getting anxious calls from the public, especially when events like Child Safety Week, which starts next Monday, provoke a flood of interest.

Question number one is "how can I find the right seat for my new car" ...

closely followed by agonised calls from drivers who can't find quite the right shade to match the upholstery in the new 4X4.

But a letter from one customer threw the operation into sharp focus for me when I recently toured the firm's HQ and asked to see some correspondence.

Written days earlier, the letter spelled out with shocking clarity the importance of choosing the right seat - and fitting it properly.

Marc Blackburn wrote: "I purchased a Britax Freeway seat for my two-year-old son Adam. I installed it in my car behind the driver's seat.

"Along with my wife and three children I set out to go shopping at Asda when a car came around a corner towards us out of control and slammed head-on into my vehicle. I was travelling at 55mph and the other car at 80mph, which resulted in an impact of about 135mph.

"When I came around I noticed that the car that hit us was on fire. I managed to get out of my car, despite having a broken leg, but was unable to open the passenger door behind me. I ran around to the other side of my car and managed to open that rear passenger door. I pulled out my two oldest children while shouting at my wife to get out.

"She came around and reached over and unfastened my youngest son, Adam, from his Britax seat. We all managed to get out with 30 seconds to spare before it erupted in flames, which consumed the vehicle.

Unfortunately the young driver who lost control wasn't as lucky as we were and lost his life in the crash."

The 36-year-old store manager, was forced to crawl away on hands and knees as his wife - with fractured pelvis and broken collarbone - carried Adam. …

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