Baby boy dies after crash while sitting on dad's lap in driver's seat
By Nikki Black
February 27 2019
A baby boy has died two days after being critically injured when an airbag deployed in a crash.
The child was seriously injured in a two-vehicle accident in Clingan Avenue in Lurnea shortly before 6pm on Monday, Nine News reports.
The boy’s father, 31-year-old Peter Watfa, was driving just a few hundred metres from his home when his car BMW collided with a Mercedes Benz.
According to the initial police findings, 11-month-old Zachariah is believed to have been sitting on his father's lap in the driver's seat when the BMW’s front driver airbag deployed, causing the baby to suffer critical head and facial injuries.
“He was panicked and yelling out to ‘get the baby's mother, get the baby's mother’”, a witness told 9News.
Zachariah’s mother ran down the street to her son, then the baby was airlifted to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, where he died late yesterday.
“The injuries to the 11-month-old were consistent with being struck by the airbag, and that leads us to the conclusion that the child was on the lap of the driver,” NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Mick Corboy said.
“This is particularly concerning for us. There doesn't appear to be any reason for it, so we really want to talk to the father and look further into it.”
Police say that the driver of the Mercedes Benz crossed to the other side of the road, causing the collision, however if Zachariah had been in a proper child restraint in the back of the car his injuries could have been avoided.
Neither driver was injured, however both were taken to hospital for mandatory testing.
Police are making further inquiries.