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Interstate crash prompts emphasis on proper restraints for kids

Published On: Jul 15 2013 06:15:43 PM CDT   Updated On: Jul 15 2013 09:56:57 PM CDT

Steve Purcell had just finished a 21-hour ride from North Carolina. He took his wife and daughters up to Rio to see the family. He was just four miles from his Stoughton exit when he ran into a standstill.

“We were moving along good, and then everybody was on their brakes,” Purcell said.

Purcell could tell it was something serious when he watched multiple ambulances drive by, followed by Medflight flying in.

“At the time, we really didn't know what was going on,” Purcell said. “It was just a bad accident, we assumed.”

State Patrol said 29-year-old Leslie Figgs of Illinois was driving a BMW heading south on I-39. Officers believe she was dodging another car trying to cut her off, when her car rolled over and across the median.

State Patrol said there were six children in the back seat. One child was flown to the hospital, and two children are being held for observation. The kids are 3 to 11 years old.

Figgs will be cited for at least three child-safety-restraint violations. In addition, officers said she was driving with a revoked license. Court records show Figgs was fined last year for speeding 20 to 24 miles per hour over the speed limit on a Wisconsin freeway.

State Patrol said it will be up to the Dane County district attorney to determine whether Figgs should face criminal charges. There is no word from Ishmael Ozanne on this case.

Nicole Vesely with Safe Kids Wisconsin said nine out of 10 parents in the area don’t know how to properly restrain their child.

State Patrol didn’t know if car seats were involved in this wreck, but Vesely said correctly buckling up kids can make all the difference, especially in a rollover crash.

“It's just heartbreaking to know there were things that could have probably protected these children,” Vesely said. “As we know, not every crash is survivable, but there are certainly a lot of things we can do to make sure they are proper restraints, especially in a rollover crash.”

Safe Kids Wisconsin hosts free car seat checks once a week. If you’d like more information, visit 

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