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July 1, 2014

Engineer: Airbags that failed to deploy in Gaston wreck working

The airbags that failed to deploy in a wreck that killed a Gaston teen on June 8 were working properly when checked by an automobile company engineer on Tuesday, authorities said.

The airbags that failed to deploy in a wreck that killed a Gaston teen on June 8 were working properly when checked by an automobile company engineer on Tuesday, authorities said.

Arielle Reid, an honor student at Highland School of Technology, died when a 2014 Mercedes-Benz, driven by her father, Michael, ran off Lowland Dairy Road north of Mount Holly.

The vehicle struck several trees and came to rest on its roof. Arielle Reid, who was riding in the front passenger seat, died at the scene.

According Trooper J.J. Letcavage with the N.C. Highway Patrol, Michael Reid was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle on June 26.

Letcavage said an engineer with Mercedes-Benz used diagnostic equipment to check safety features on the wrecked vehicle Tuesday.

“Everything was in working condition today,” he said.

The failure of the airbags to deploy “may speak to the way the wreck occurred and the way the vehicle traveled,” Letcavage said.

He estimated the car was going 50 mph in a 35 mph zone and listed driver fatigue as a contributing factor.

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