The News Leader of Staunton, VA reports of a child airlifted following I-81 wreck.

Traffic was stopped for more than an hour on Interstate 81 on Sunday, March 22, 2009 because both northbound lanes were closed around 2 p.m. following a three-vehicle wreck near mile marker 222 that caused a a 9-year-old boy to be airlifted to the hospital.

Virginia State police officials said that Francisco E. Garcia, 40, of Harrisonburg, was driving in a 1994 Chrysler minivan with Adelina Garcia, 33, and two children, ages 5 and 9, when Mr. Garcia changed lanes and struck a Toyota Prius, driven by Mary Ann Neumann, 62, of Rockville, Maryland. The van then hit the guardrail, spun into traffic and struck a tractor-trailer, driven by Richard Lee Freeman of Kings Court, Tennessee.

Both children were unrestrained and the 9-year-old was ejected from the vehicle, and he was flown by helicopter to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville. The 5-year-old received minor injuries.

Police charged Garcia for an improper lane change, and he was issued two tickets for failing to restrain the children in the vehicle.

It is important to remember that children need to be properly restrained at all times when driving. Children are greatly at risk for being ejected from a vehicle during an accident due to their small size. Also an unrestrained child can be very distracting and can be the cause of an accident.

According to the Virginia Department of Health , children need to ride in a car seat until their eighth birthday, and children must wear their seat belt until they are 16 years old.

For more information visit Richmond, Virginia personal injury lawyer Wayne O’Bryan’s site

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