HARRISONVILLE, Mo. — One person is in custody a day after a deadly crash in Cass County that killed a 3-year-old girl.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol said troopers arrested the driver of the car that crashed Tuesday afternoon and are investigating to determine if impairment was a factor in the crash.
The crash was reported just before 4 p.m. Tuesday on 7 Highway near Freedom Road near Harrisonville.
According to the crash report, seven people were inside a Ford Explorer. The Missouri State Highway Patrol said a 65-year-old Arkansas woman was driving and lost control. The SUV left the road and rolled.
Investigators said the 3-year-old girl who died in the crash was not in a car seat and was thrown out of the SUV.
“This is a terrible incident for a lot of reasons, but for the simple fact this child was unrestrained, that’s just inexcusable,” MSHP Sgt. Andy Bell said.
Bell said this happens too often. In the last two years, there have been more than 1,000 deaths from crashes in Missouri, and 60% of the time the person who died was not wearing a seat belt.
“We’ve seen vehicles roll over violently down the highway, and these toddlers completely walk away without a scratch on them because they were properly restrained,” Bell said.
Troopers said two 10-year-old boys in the SUV were also injured. One was wearing a seatbelt and the other wasn’t. Four adults in the SUV suffered moderate injuries in the crash.
MSHP said they believe the driver in this case was also on drugs. Formal charges have not been filed.
“For you to get behind the wheel, that’s a dangerous choice, and it’s against the law,” Bell said.