4-year-old injured when guardrail impales car

A 4-year-old girl and her father were injured after a guardrail sliced through their car.

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Police say on  Tuesday morning, a Chevy Impala struck a guardrail in Northbridge, Massachusetts. The guardrail sliced right through the car, crushing the right side and hitting a 4-year-old girl in the head.

"I've never seen anything like that," said Northbridge Highway Superintendent Jaime Luchini.

David Brown was in the front passenger seat, and his young daughter Abbey was sitting right behind him in her car seat.

"We're talking a matter of two inches that guardrail probably would've taken both of their lives," said Northbridge police Lt. Timothy Labrie.

The driver, Abbey's stepmother was not seriously hurt, but rescue crews had to cut David Brown out of the car.

Both he and Abbey are recovering at the hospital after undergoing surgery.

Luchini says the guardrail is many years old and has basic safety features, but it isn't meant to absorb the impact of a crash.

"This guardrail, in particular, is designed to keep cars on the road so (they don’t) go over embankments. That's what their main focus is," said Luchini.

Police are investigating the crash, but it appears it may have been caused by an animal darting across the road, causing the driver to swerve.

Officials say speed was not a factor.

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