Police say that a 12-year-old boy was killed in a vehicle collision about 6 p.m. on Mischief Night, the night before Halloween. The boy, Naquan Nasier Cornish-Smith, was a passenger in a 1993 Honda Civic which was hit by a Ford Explorer when it tried to turn left on Garners Ferry Road. Cornish-Smith was ejected from the vehicle during the crash. He was taken to Palmetto Richard Hospital, but died later from injuries sustained in the crash.
Both drivers were also transported to local hospitals. Neither driver was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol and the Highway Patrol’s Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) said that the accident is still under investigation, according to a report from WLTX news.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control, more than 9,000 children age 12 and under died in car accidents over the past 10 years. Car accidents are the leading cause of death in children 12 and under, resulting in 650 fatalities per year.
Although the details on how and why the accident happened are still under investigation, the incident does illustrate the relatively high statistics on people not using seat belts. Nearly half of individuals under 12 do not use seat belts, and one-third of people that age who died in car collisions in 2011 did not use seat belts. The CDC estimates that seat belts can cut serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half.