In 2016, Molly Rusk and her family were involved in a terrible crash. She had family in from out of town and as part of their usual tradition they went to Polly’s Freeze in Georgetown, Indiana with the intention of visiting their grandparents at the cemetery afterward. With them in their 2007 Honda CRV was Molly’s daughter, Vivienne (who had just turned two), her Aunt Ann, Aunt Rita, and their friend Rosie. Molly was the driver of the vehicle with Ann in the front passenger seat. Sitting in rear seat was Aunt Rita on the passenger side, Vivienne rear facing in her Diono car seat in the center seat, and Rosie behind Molly on the driver’s side of the vehicle. All of the adults were wearing their seat belts.
Molly says, “We all enjoyed Polly’s Freeze. At the end of our lunch it started to rain so we made our way back to the car. We start heading toward Lanesville on State Hwy 62. I remember enjoying the rural countryside and the nostalgia of our childhood. I was going about 40 mph. Then I notice the speed limit is 55 mph so I start to pick up speed. There is a bend in the road and my eyes are always focused on what is around the corner when I see a bend in the road. Along comes a dump truck and as soon as he is in my field of vision his tires are already on my side of the road. In my head I’m thinking what will happen next and I really thought this guy was going to over correct and end up in the ditch. What comes after that is foggy… You can imagine, I was in shock. I think that I jerked the wheel to the left in an attempt to avoid him.”
Moments later the tri-axle dump truck hydroplaned directly into their vehicle and many of the adults received serious injuries. However, little Vivienne who was rear-facing in her car seat was completely unharmed without even a scratch on her. According to Molly, the EMS at the scene commented on how Vivienne was perfectly restrained.
Today, Molly is exceptionally thankful that her daughter is safe and that she chose to keep her rear-facing as long as possible. She wants to share her story to help raise awareness about car seat safety. She credits the fact that her daughter was uninjured because her car seat was properly installed, properly used and that she was still rear-facing. Molly strongly encourages parents to keep their children rear-facing as long as possible.