Choking incident highlights the need for seat belt safety

A mother in Massachusetts had no time to waste in saving the life of her eight year-old. In what has been described as a “freak accident,” her son got tangled up in his seat belt, which ended up choking him.

Siobhan Sherbovich turned around to see his body pinned to the ceiling of the car, with his face turning blue. The seatbelt refused to unlock, as the locking mechanism was engaged. Sherbovich immediately drove to a hair salon, ran in to get a pair of scissors and cut the seat belt. When released, her son dropped to the ground unconscious. She then administered CPR, and was able to revive him before the paramedics arrived.Shoulder strapped in a seat belt

“He just went, ‘What happened? I’m OK’ and just stared at me, looking like he was from another planet,” Sherbovich said. She is being hailed as heroic by first responders, who admired her ability to stay calm during a crisis. They said that her actions saved her son’s life. He was evaluated at the hospital, and they do not believe he will have any lasting health complications as a result of the incident.

Police Chief Bob Bongiorno said he had never encountered anything like this in his 25 years of public safety.

Police say that children should use a booster seat with the vehicle lap and shoulder seat belts until they can pass the seat belt fit test:

  • The children’s knees should bend at the edge of the vehicle seat when their backs and bottoms are against the seat’s back
  • The vehicle lap belt should fit across the upper thighs
  • The shoulder belt should fit across the shoulder and chest

In addition to these safety precautions, every car should have a vehicle escape tool. In car accidents where drivers and potential passengers are trapped inside of a car, a vehicle escape tool features a cutting device for the seatbelt and a hammer that can shatter a window, providing an escape route.

Sherbovich was driving an Acura, and the company has responded to the story to state that no other complaints of this nature have been reported.  One can never be too prepared for potential hazards while driving. If you feel that your car may have a manufacturing defect that has caused harm to you or a loved one, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Allen & Allen today, at 1-866-962-3527.