Troopers look at possible airbag malfunction in crash that killed teen

by: Kathryn Burcham Updated:

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GASTON COUNTY, N.C. —

State troopers said they have many questions for engineers at Mercedes-Benz after they said airbags failed to deploy in a crash that claimed the life of a Gaston County high school senior.

Troopers said 18-year-old Arielle Reid died Sunday night when her father lost control on Lowland Dairy Road near Mt. Holly and overturned, crashing into two trees.

Investigators initially suspected Reid was not wearing a seatbelt, but said Thursday technology inside the 2014 Mercedes C-Class confirmed everyone in the car was buckled in.

Troopers said they also discovered the passenger side airbags where Reid was sitting did not deploy during the crash.

"When most needed the safety features did not deploy, the air bag did not deploy, so we have many questions for Mercedes," said Trooper JJ Letcavage.

Troopers said an engineer from Mercedes-Benz will inspect the car sometime in the next few weeks.

When asked if the airbags could have saved Reid's life, Trooper Letcavage said, "We can never say 100 percent. Could they have? Yes."

Last year, officials at the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration said Mercedes-Benz recalled hundreds of its S-Class and A-Class cars due to issues with passenger side airbags that didn't deploy.

Troopers said Arielle's father, Michael Reid, purchased his 2014 Mercedes C-Class with only nine miles on it, and bought it specifically for the safety features.

Channel 9 reached out to management at the dealership where troopers said Michael Reid purchased his car to ask about its safety features, but the general manager did not return a request for comment.

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