Family members say the three children involved in the crash at 41st Street and Minnesota Avenue last week survived with only minor injuries because they were buckled in their car seats.
A six year old, two year old, and three month old were all treated and released from the hospital within 24 hours of the crash.
The three young children were all riding in a Dodge Durango, which is the first vehicle that was struck, and while their parents are still in the hospital, family members say the kids were saved by car seats.
“So if the seat is installed properly, and the child is secured in the seat properly, that certainly will help keep the child safe in the event of an accident," Sioux Falls firefighter Conley Orth said.
Orth says last week's crash is a testament to having properly-installed car seats. Orth works at the South Minnesota Avenue fire station, which conducts car seat checks every Saturday morning.
"A lot of times we like to have them bring their children with them so once the seat is installed correctly, then we can make sure the parents know how to secure the child in that seat correctly," Orth said.
Orth says when it comes to the bases for an infant carrier, the tighter the better.
"I'll stick a knee in there push it down into the seat as far as I can and pull the strap as tight as I can. That usually gets the trick for me," Orth said.
When it comes to a more standard car seat for a toddler, Orth says the seat not only has to be installed tight enough but the straps have to be tight enough when the child is in the seat.
"If you can only get one of your fingers to slide between that belt and the child, it's tight enough. But if you can get two of them in there, it's too loose," Orth said.
Because Orth says the key to child safety is not only ensuring that the seat is installed properly, but that the child is also buckled in tight enough.
"The accident the other day, nobody would have thought getting up that morning that was going to happen. And I'm sure that family is very thankful they had those seats in there and I'm assuming installed properly and children secured in them properly," Orth said.
The free car seat checks at the South Minnesota Avenue fire station go from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. every Saturday morning.