A baby boy has suffered critical head and facial injuries after being struck by an airbag deployed during a minor crash in Sydney’s southwest.
Eleven-month-old Zachariah Wafta had been sitting on his father’s lap in the driver’s seat with his child restraint left empty in the back seat, police believe.
A witness described the child as “looking like a doll” as it lay on grass being treated by paramedics along a Lurnea street following the crash on Monday.
“The injuries to the 11-month-old were consistent with being struck by the air bag,” Traffic and Highway Patrol’s assistant commissioner Michael Corboy said.
Security cameras filmed the other car pulling out of a driveway before the crash.
The impact was low-speed but Zachariah was hit with the full force of an exploding airbag.
His dad, Peter Watfa, was driving at the time.
“He was panicked yelling out get the baby’s mother! Get the baby’s mother!” witness Lyn Carlin said.
The mother ran the few hundred metres from the family home to the crash scene.
Her son remains in intensive care.
There were 6300 tickets issued to drivers last year for unrestrained children. Police say Mr Watfa’s car did have a baby seat but it wasn’t used.
“This is particularly concerning for us, there doesn’t appear to be any reason for it,” asst. comm. Corboy said.
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