Car seat credited with saving ejected toddler's life in Anchorage collision

A 19-month-old girl's family says she is recovering after a Monday crash in which she and her car seat were thrown from a vehicle on the Glenn Highway.

Tiffany Rowe, Abigail Rowe's mother, said she was driving a silver Chevrolet Malibu on the Glenn Highway with her daughter Abigail and her mother, Candy Turner, as passengers when she was struck by a Ford pickup. Police said four people were injured in the collision, which occurred near Northway Mall just east of Airport Heights Drive at about 2:30 p.m. Monday.

"We were hit by the white F-150 who was traveling outbound as we were headed inbound," Rowe wrote Tuesday morning. "Abigail was ejected from the car in her car seat, which was strapped in correctly. Her arm is broken in two places, she has a lot of swelling, bruising and road rash."

"The car seatbelt was ripped from the car," Rowe wrote.

Abigail's uncle, Levi Simmons, called the crash a teaching moment for the value of properly restraining small children in car seats.

"If it wasn't for her being very properly fastened (with) her seat belt, I wouldn't have my niece anymore," Simmons wrote. "Abby can't even speak full sentences yet and she was an inch from her life. If her car seat wouldn't have been fastened, she would no longer be with us."

Police closed the highway between Airport Heights and Boniface Parkway for about five hours, reopening the road at about 7:30 p.m.

Anchorage police spokesperson Anita Shell said the department's traffic unit was still investigating the collision. No other information on the crash available Tuesday morning.

The Anchorage Fire Department said Tuesday it is offering free car seat inspections to ensure that seats are properly installed. Inspections can be scheduled by calling 907-267-5045.

Chris Klint

Chris Klint is a former ADN reporter who covered breaking news.