Miracle amid fatal crash on Highway 395

By: 
Aaron Andrews
Staff Writer

The Washington State Patrol has provided additional details about the fatal three-vehicle crash that occurred Dec. 10 on Highway 395, including the “miracle” of a young life saved.
In the incident that occurred in icy conditions after the first winter storm, a northbound Chewelah woman, Anna M. Kenney, slid into oncoming traffic.
She struck a southbound 2011 GMC Yukon Denali, driven by John Herda, 73, of Chewelah, and spun broadside into more traffic. She was then struck by a southbound 2007 Dodge Ram operated by Joseph Black Bear, 54, of Colville, the patrol reported, adding the crash occurred about 100 yards north of Aspen Hill Way.
Kenney was killed.
But according to Trooper Jeff Seveigny, a miracle happened.
On impact, Kenney's infant grandchild was ejected from her Toyota Tacoma truck — car seat and all.
“The infant stayed strapped into the car seat that was ejected from the vehicle and propelled across the northbound lane, coming to rest next to the guard rail of the northbound lane,” Seveigny said.
The child was uninjured.
Her mother, Catherine Howell, shared pictures of the wreck and of the car seat on Facebook the next day.
“This is what a fatal car crash looks like,” she captioned a picture of Kenney's mangled pickup. In the picture, the truck looks to be all but severed from the cab.
“This is what a car seat looks like after an ejection,” she wrote, sharing a picture of her daughter's Snugride 35.
The picture shows that the car seat still looks brand new, with barely a scratch. “This is what a baby girl looks like after an ejection while in a car seat,” Catherine captioned in another picture of her infant.
“She, too, was just fine. Some little bumps on her forehead, but nothing major.”
Howell then wrote: “Defensive driving and a properly fitted and installed car seat saved Joy's life.”
She thanked the car seat company for their excellent product and her mother for protecting her child.
“Thank you Mom for looking out for my baby girl at your own expense. I love you more than words can express.
“I will see you again. Don't worry mom, Joy is just fine.”

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