Pregnant Woman Dies In Car Crash, Baby Delivered

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A pregnant woman involved in a horrific multi-vehicle collision has died. Amazingly, doctors were able to deliver the baby.
Chicago WGN News reported that a Prairie Village police officer tried to pull over a tan passenger vehicle at about 7:00 p.m. Sunday in the 6300 Block of 75th Street. The driver sped off, and police decided not to pursue the driver.
Shortly after the attempted citation, Overland Park Police Department were called to an injury accident on Metcalf Avenue and West 75th Street.
Investigators say a passenger car with a single occupant was traveling west on 75th Street, ran a red light, and t-boned a silver Chevrolet truck. The truck was carrying 25-Year-Old Denise Lopez of Kansas City, who was 39 weeks pregnant.
Pregnant Fatal Crash

Baby Delivered Successfully

A third vehicle carrying five people was also hit in the crash.
Paramedics rushed Denise Lopez and five others to the hospital, where doctors successfully delivered the baby. The mother died from injuries sustained in the crash moments after giving birth.
Police say the newborn is doing well. Injuries of the others rushed to the hospital range from minor to serious.
The driver of the car that police say caused the crash, Raphael Sherman, 21, of Shawnee, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and two counts of reckless aggravated battery in Johnson County District Court.

Pregnancy & Car Accidents

Researchers in Toronto recently found that the risk for a woman to be in a car accident spikes during her second trimester of pregnancy. In fact, the chances of a woman being hospitalized due to a crash are 42% higher when in the second trimester of pregnancy than in the three years before she got pregnant.
Studies regarding pregnant women and car accidents have also found:

  • There are about 5 times as many fetal deaths due to pregnancy-related crashes than there are infant-related crash deaths; however, these deaths are not reported individually on crash reports.
  • A fetus is 15 times more likely to die from a motor vehicle crash than a child 0-14 is likely to die from a firearm injury.
  • On average, 2.3% of women report being hurt in a “car accident” during pregnancy.
  • Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of maternal and fetal injury death and maternal injury hospitalization.
  • On average, more than one fetus a day dies from a car accident as a result of injuries sustained during that crash.
  • It is estimated that there are at least 3,500 annual hospital visits in the USfor a pregnancy-related car accident injury, yet no state or agency tracks these events on an ongoing basis.
  • The risk of adverse fetal injury (defined as either placental abruption, uterine rupture, direct fetal injury, maternal death or fetal loss) in a 16 MPH frontal crash at 28 weeks gestation is 26% for belted drivers and 70% for unbelted drivers.
  • The total annual miles driven by women of reproductive age increased 275% from 1969 to 1990. This represents a major increase in fetal exposure to crash risks over the last 30 years
  • Unofficially, babies who are born prior to 25 weeks, and who weigh more than two pounds have a 50% chance of survival if they’re born in a hospital that is equipped to deal with a baby who is this premature. However, on the other hand, babies who weigh in at three pounds or more have a 95% chance of survival.

A healthy pregnancy typically lasts about 9 months. In car accidents, the trauma of the impact can sometimes cause a woman to go into labor early, potentially leading to health risks for the baby and the mother.

What To Do If You’re In A Car Crash While Pregnant

If you or a loved one is involved in a crash while pregnant, it is especially important to call 911 or emergency services if you experience any of the following after a crash:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Vaginal Bleeding
  • Pain in the stomach or pelvis
  • You believe the umbilical cord is bulging into your vagina (Cord Prolapse)

**According to, if you suspect cord prolapse, get on your hands and knees to take pressure off of the cord while you wait for help to arrive.
It is important to contact an experienced truck accident lawyer as soon as practicable after a car accident involving a pregnant mother. After the car accident, the pregnancy may be considered “high-risk,” which may warrant more visits with a specialist and astronomical medical bills.
Don’t let the insurance adjuster convince you that your pre-existing pregnancy is not their responsibility. Call our office at 314-444-4444 for a free consultation.

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