Police: Car seat containing baby killed in crash was 'wedged between front seats on top of front center console'

Police: Car seat containing baby killed in crash was 'wedged between front seats on top of front center console'
Seyaira Stephens (Source: Family)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Investigators have released new details in the crash that killed a 1-year-old in October.

A spokesman with the Baton Rouge Police Department confirmed the car seat little Seyaira Stephens was in was "wedged between front seats on top of front center console." He added her mother, Brittany Stephens, told investigators she was the one who placed the car seat in the vehicle.

"During the course of the investigation, investigators learned during an interview that she admitted to placing the car seat in the vehicle and placing the child in the car," said Sgt. Don Coppola with BRPD. "This was an extensive investigation that our detectives investigated this case and charged the appropriate parties that contributed to the death of the one-year-old child."

It was also determined the child was also not properly restrained in the seat. Coppola said the straps weren't adjusted for the proper fit of the child.
He added as of now, they don't know the make or model of the car seat or whether it was the appropriate seat for the 1-year-old.

According to police, there were eight people in the SUV - four adults and four children. Officers are not sure on the exact seating arrangements of the other people, but they stated none of the people in the vehicle had on a seat belt.

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The crash happened at the intersection of Airline Highway and Florline Boulevard around 8 p.m. on Oct. 12, 2017.

Brittany Stephens, 20, has been charged with negligent homicide and seat belt violations. Christopher Manuel, 27, a corporal with BRPD, has been charged with negligent homicide and speeding. Brea Gross, 18, the reported unlicensed driver of the SUV, is charged with seat belt violations and driving without a license. Police said she is the step-sister of Brittany Stephens.

Reports state Manuel was driving a Corvette at 94 mph at the time of the crash.

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