Harris County Easter Tragedy: Mother, daughter killed in car crash, officials urging car seat safety

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - A family is grieving after a holiday tragedy on Sunday. Three kids were in a car during the fatal, single car crash that killed a mother and her young daughter and sent several other loved ones to the hospital.

The family of five was spending Easter Sunday together. Around 1:30 p.m. along Highway 90 near Uvalde Road, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez says 25-year-old Tiffany Rodriguez lost control of the car, causing it to flip.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Harris County crash: Mother, 5-year-old daughter killed following crash on U.S. 90

Rodriguez and her 5-year-old daughter Ariella Rodriguez died in the heartbreaking holiday wreck.

Gonzalez says speed may have played a role in Rodriguez somehow sending the Prius flipping over, landing in the grassy median.

The fatal Easter afternoon wreck also left a 26-year-old man, their 2-and-a-half-year-old son and 4-month-old baby hospitalized. Gonzalez says the two adults were not wearing seat belts, and he's unsure if the child safety seats were properly secured.

"Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death and injury for children. So, we really want to make sure car and booster seats are installed appropriately," says Texas Children's Hospital Health Educator Nicole Peake.

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Texas Children's is the lead agency in the Safe Kids Greater Houston program. They offer a free service showing parents and caregivers the right way to secure kids in seats.

"It's really important that we put the butt in the back all the way against the back of that car seat. We don't want them slouching. If the baby does slouch, it's going to pull that head forward, close off the airway," Peake explains to a couple during a Car Seat Safety Clinic, and she demonstrates using a doll.

As part of the program, a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician also teaches you to correctly install the seats.

"4 out of 5 are installed incorrectly," Peake explains.

"I would 100% recommend it. We spent probably 30 minutes before we came here trying to set this up. We learned a lot of good information here in a shorter amount of time," says dad-to-be Rob Weins.

Mom-to-be Jill Hollis adds, "It's always better to be on the safe side."

Texas law requires a correctly secured car seat or booster for kids until they're 8 years old or 4'9" tall.

"We really want to protect them the best we can in the car seat to reduce injuries and death as much as we can," Peake adds.

You can reach Safe Kids Greater Houston by clicking here to receive the free, potentially life-saving child safety seat training. Some locations require an appointment.