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Improperly installed car seat resulted in death of child, police say

An improperly installed child seat is believed to have caused the death of an 3-year-old girl in a traffic accident Wednesday in Clinton.
An improperly installed child seat is believed to have caused the death of an 3-year-old girl in a traffic accident Wednesday in Clinton.
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CLINTON — An improperly installed child seat is believed to have caused the death of an 3-year-old girl in a traffic accident Wednesday.

Marisol Isabel Guiterrez was in a child restraint seat in the back of a Pontiac Grand Am, when police say the vehicle crashed head-on with an SUV in front of Clinton Elementary School, 1101 W. 1800 North, just after 2 p.m.

"The child restraint seat was found to be improperly connected, at this time this is what we believe caused the fatal injuries," Clinton police said in a prepared statement.

Another child, Mariah Gutierrez, 18 months old, who was in a rear-facing car seat in the backseat, was treated at a local hospital and later released.

The driver of the Grand Am, Joseph Jeffery Dickson, 26, remained hospitalized Thursday in critical condition, according to police. Clinton police say Dickson is the stepfather of one of the children and father of the other.

The driver of the SUV, Amy Bair, 43, also remained hospitalized in critical condition Thursday, according to police.

Investigators weren't sure if the Grand Am had just pulled out of another business and was trying to pull into the school parking lot or why it was traveling in the wrong lane of traffic. There were no skid marks on the road prior to impact, according to police. The elementary school had not let out for the day.

The investigation into what caused the crash continued Thursday.