by: Dave Faherty Updated:
BOONE, N.C. - A baby boy has serious injuries Wednesday after being thrown from a vehicle as it overturned near the Zionville community.
Highway 421 was shut down for nearly an hour as firefighters and rescuers rushed to get to the scene near Cove Creek.
“It’s a really sad case,” witness Dean Melton said. “The child lying in the briars, and crying with a cut above the eye. Didn’t see the parents. He was ejected from the car. It looked like he went through the glass.”
Officials said 6-month-old Jobarl Jappah, who has serious injuries, was rushed to a helicopter to be airlifted to a hospital in Johnson City.
“I just prayed for them and make sure everybody was OK,” said student Andrea Howell.
Eyewitnesses described seeing the car pass another vehicle in a no-passing zone at a high rate of speed; that is when the driver lost control.
Eyewitnesses said the child came out of the car as it overturned. When they ran to help, they said they found the boy in some briars several feet from the car.
A child safety seat was seen in the rear of the car, and firefighters said it was still strapped in place. The Highway Patrol said the seat did not have any shoulder harnesses to hold the baby in place.
Hours after the wreck, the driver, Darker Weah, and the baby's mother returned to the crash scene but didn't want to speak with Channel 9 about what happened.
State troopers charged Weah with careless and reckless driving and a child restraint violation.
At one point, we could see the driver arguing with the Highway Patrol officers, saying the baby was restrained. State troopers said they photographed the seat and the case will go before a judge on May 16.