Mom Installs Car Seat Wrong, Charged With Baby's Death

car seat installed wrong mom charged with baby's death

Is jail the answer?

A 24-year-old woman has been charged with vehicular homicide in the death of her 13-month-old daughter. In 2006, Eileen Jensen was driving a car in which her three daughters were passengers, when she smashed into the back of a minivan and caused a three-car collision.


Jensen's daughter Chloe, who was three months old at the time, was sitting in a loosely installed rear-facing car seat in the front passenger seat of the car. When the car crashed, the air bag deployed and Chloe suffered a head trauma from which she died 10 months later.

According to the law in the state of Washington, where the accident took place, all children under the age of 13 must sit in the backseat of a car when practical. After the accident, a witness told police that Jensen said she put the baby in the front seat because she was only going a couple of blocks. Other witnesses said that Jensen was driving erratically, and Jensen said she blacked out just before the crash because she was sleep deprived. Police say the two girls sitting in the back seat of the car were also improperly secured.

Putting a child's head in front of an air bag is like "putting the child's head in front of an explosion," said Alan Korn, director of public policy for Safe Kids USA.

Prosecutor's have been trying to decide for a year if they should charge Jensen (the accident took place in 2006), and filed charges on Tuesday. If Jensen is convicted, it will be the first time in Washington that a parent has been accountable for the death of a child from an improperly installed car seat.

Based on this information, if you were on the jury, would you convict Jensen? Or do you think that losing her daughter and having to live with it is punishment enough?

[poll id="234338" question="Should"]

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