Authorities sought a driver Wednesday who fled on foot after his sport utility vehicle crossed a center line and crashed into a semi-truck, killing a 3-month-old passenger in the SUV who was being held in his mother's lap.
A search by helicopters and a sheriff's dog didn't find the man after Tuesday night's wreck on Highway 546, and his identity remained unknown. [...]A 2005 article in a southern California paper described the difficulty in convincing stubborn Hispanics to follow the law in the United States (Language, Culture Are Cited as Barriers).
The mother reportedly speaks Mixteco, an indigenous language spoken in Mexico, and that investigators were having trouble finding an interpreter, Leary said. [Baby on mom's lap killed in Wash. collision AP, July 22,Â 2009]
Rodriguez said there's also an impression in the Latino community that a parent can do a better job protecting a child than a safety seat.
"We did a study," she said. "In the Latino culture, a mom wants to hold her baby. For a mother, especially when the baby is small, to put him in the back seat, the thinking is you're not a good mother. That is changing, but the sense is if the child is here with me, I can hold the baby in a crash. But the forces that occur in the crash, no way they can hold their baby."