Mom, 10-year-old daughter could have survived crash if they wore seat belts, state troopers say

State troopers say Brandy Helms was driving four people on N.C. 216 when a teenager failed to yield and struck Helms' Honda Pilot, causing it to roll.

KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. -- A community in Kings Mountain is mourning after a deadly crash killed a mother and her 10-year-old daughter over the weekend.

On Saturday evening, N.C. Highway Patrol said Brandy Helms was driving four people on N.C. 216 when a Volkswagen Jetta failed to yield and struck Helms’ Honda Pilot, causing it to roll.

All five people were not wearing a seatbelt and were ejected from the Honda. Helms and her 10-year-old daughter, Makala, were both killed in the accident.

Ray Pierce, a state trooper investigating the deadly accident, said there was a good chance the mother and daughter would have lived if they wore their seatbelts.

“I think if they would’ve stayed in the confines of the car, their chances of surviving probably would’ve been greater than unfortunately what they had,” Pierce said.

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, 36 percent of children aged 8 to 14 who were killed in car accidents in 2016 were not wearing a seatbelt.

Statistics for 2017 have not been released yet.

“You know the old saying 'look twice, save a life?' It comes into play and this one, it did,” Pierce said.

According to state troopers, the three survivors who were ejected are in stable condition.

Julia Poole, the 18-year-old who drove the Volkswagen Jetta, is charged with failure to yield and two counts of misdemeanor death by vehicle.

© 2018 WCNC.COM


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