Baby girl dies in Lake Wheeler Road accident

Staff writerJune 28, 2011 

— A 10-month-old girl was killed today when she was ejected from a vehicle that overturned and landed on her, the State Highway Patrol reported.

The child, Sophia Peetz, was pronounced dead at the scene, said Sgt. K.T. Shallington, a Highway Patrol spokesman.

Emergency workers rushed the child's mother, Heather Lucas, of 2425 Raymond Smith Road in Raleigh, to WakeMed. She is listed in stable condition, Shallington said this afternoon.

The accident occurred about 11 a.m. on Lake Wheeler Road, near Penny Road, the patrol reported.

Lucas lost control of the 1993 Ford Explorer she was driving when it ran off the right side of the road, Shallington said.

Lucas overcorrected and the vehicle swung across the left side of the road and overturned. As the SUV was overturning, Sophia fell out of an open window.

Sophia was in a car seat, but the child was not properly secured, Shallington said.

The SUV overturned and came to rest in a ditch on top of Sophia, the patrol spokesman reported.

Neither drugs nor alcohol played a role in the crash, Shallington said.

Sophia's death is the second on that stretch of road this year.

A single-vehicle crash killed a 22-year-old Cary man in February.

Jeffrey Tabor Post Jr. of 711 N. Hampton Drive died when the Chevrolet Blazer he was driving south on Lake Wheeler ran off the pavement onto the right shoulder, traveled back onto the road, then ran back onto the right shoulder. The Blazer went down a short embankment, overturning once before striking a tree. Investigators said speed was a factor.

State troopers are still investigating to determine whether speed or some other factor caused the accident that took Sophia's life, Shallington said.

thomasi.mcdonald@newsobserver.com or (919) 829-4533

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