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The driver "reportedly became drowsy" before the fatal accident.

Watertown: infant's death blamed on fatigued driving

State police say a car accident on I-81 near Watertown early Saturday morning claimed the life of a five-month-old child.

According to a statement, officials are blaming the accident on "drowsy" driving.

"Investigation revealed that 21 year old Quartez Smith...reportedly became drowsy," police said. "His vehicle, a 2003 Chevy Trailblazer, left the roadway and traveled into the median striking an earth embankment."

After flying airborne, the vehicle struck a portable DOT sign, then overturned several times before coming to a rest in the median.

Smith and two adult passengers were transported to Samaritan Medical Center, where they were treated for minor injuries, according to police.

The infant was airlifted to a hospital in Syracuse, but was later pronounced deceased.

The family, from Virginia, was traveling through the North Country after visiting relatives in London, Ontario.

According to State Police, an investigation of the accident is still underway. They say they were asisted by Jefferson County Sheriff's officers, the Watertown Fire Department, as well as other emergency crews.

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Reported by

Brian Mann
Adirondack Bureau Chief

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