CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Six children were seriously injured in a rollover crash on I-485 in west Charlotte Thursday night, state troopers said.
According to North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Shontavia Smith-Barber was traveling on the inner loop of I-485 near West Boulevard around 11:15 p.m. when she lost control of her 2010 Chevrolet Traverse and crashed. Troopers said there were nine people inside the SUV, including six children ranging from 4 months to 10 years old. None of the children were properly restrained, according to Highway Patrol.
Smith-Barber told a responding state trooper that she fell asleep, which led to the crash.
Troopers said the 4-month-old was in a car seat but it was not properly fastened inside the vehicle and an 8-month-old was being held in the front seat by a passenger. Everyone inside the SUV suffered serious injuries in the crash, with three of the children having life-threatening injuries.
Smith-Barber has been charged with careless and reckless driving, driving with a revoked license, failure to wear a seatbelt and six counts of failing to restrain the children inside the SUV.
All patients were transported by Medic to Atrium Health's Carolina Medical Center in Charlotte for treatment, according to Medic. All nine people remain in the hospital as of 8 a.m. Friday with three of the children in critical condition.
Smith-Barber’s mother, who asked not to be identified, told WCNC NBC Charlotte everyone in the car has stabilized at the hospital.
“It was disbelief, hurtful because everybody was scattered about,” she said. “I was just running back and forth trying to check on everyone.”When she got to the hospital, she asked Her daughter. what happened.
"She blanked out,” she said. “She can't recall what happened.”
North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper Ray Pierce said the crash is a stark reminder for every family.
"The chances of you being involved in an accident are high,” Trooper Pierce said.
“As more people are moving into the state of North Carolina, our collisions are going up. Your opportunity to be involved in a collision are going up."
Smith-Barber's mother said she’s thankful everyone in the car is doing okay at the hospital.
"They're the light of my life. They keep me going. but they're doing good,” she said. “It could've been worse, but thank God that it wasn't, but they are all doing great, and I’m happy for that.”
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the crash.
The Charlotte Fire Department and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department responded to the crash to assist with patient care and traffic control.
Traffic was backed up as drivers used the single, left lane to pass the large emergency response. No other vehicles were involved in the crash, the state highway patrol confirmed.
An adjacent North Carolina Department of Transportation Camera showed the aftermath of the crash.
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