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Car Flips After Crash with Children Inside

By Natalie Potts
By npotts@wbbjtv.com

JACKSON, Tenn. - Police are warning drivers to check their engines after a two-car crash in West Jackson.

Emergency crews responded to the corner of Campbell Street and West Forest Avenue after one car went through the intersection without control of the power devices. Two children were transported to the hospital after one car flipped upon impact.

"All you could hear was kids crying and screaming, that is all you could hear," said Belinda Tomlinson, who witnessed the crash.

One of the drivers involved in the wreck, Tena Bruce, told 7 Eyewitness News she was on her way home , traveling north bound on Campbell Street with her 15-year-old grandson. Bruce said before she could think, another driver who was traveling east bound did not stop at the traffic light.

"Evidently she came around the other cars and just ran the red light and made me hit her," said Bruce.

Police said the car traveling on West Forest Avenue was carrying two children and two adults. Investigators said the impact forced the car onto its back in Belinda Tomlinson's front yard. Residents said they saw family members crawling out through the broken glass, grabbing their children.

"The dad was lying on the ground and holding the little boy and he was crying real bad," said Bruce.

Neighbors told 7 Eyewitness News, they believe the West Forest and Campbell Street intersection has become dangerous for drivers.

"It is just awful, that's the second time a car has flipped in my yard like that this year," said Tomlinson.

Investigators said the driver of the white Ford Focus that flipped on its backside, claimed a faulty alternator caused her car to lose power in the intersection. She was not able to brake or steer properly. The driver told police she had just had the alternator worked on.

Police said not checking on faulty parts could make driving extremely dangerous.

"Apparently she had alternator trouble and replaced the alternator and had apparently got a bad one," said Jackson Police Sgt. Phillip Whitman.

Those who witnessed the crash believe keeping a vehicle in top shape should be a a priority for all drivers.

"We need to make sure we have our cars in working condition to where it won't happen like that, because somebody could have been killed," said Bruce.

Police said of the best way to avoid this type of crash is to check engines on a regular basis, be prepared and drive defensively.

"Just because you've got the green light, you've got to be aware of what is coming with the cross traffic too," said Whitman.

Police said the victims in both cars reportedly escaped with only minor injuries. It is the thought of what could have happened that has one resident shaken.

"It just reminds me that you can be here one minute and gone the next. There could have been a fatality in that accident, " said Bruce.

Police said their investigation is ongoing. They remind all drivers to be aware that they are responsible for their car's performance.

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