Newborn dies following vehicle collision involving mother

Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013 at 02:56 PM.

LYNN HAVEN — A pregnant woman’s unborn baby was fatally injured after two-vehicle accident on Feb. 13 in Lynn Haven.

According to a Florida Highway Patrol news release, Michael G. Cooper, 39, of Bonifay stopped his 2006 Ford F-150 on Sarasota Avenue facing north, just south of Baldwin Road.

Cooper faces charges of violation of right of way at stop intersection, according to the Highway Patrol news release. Further charges are pending the completion of a Traffic Homicide Investigation.

Nathan R. Merchant, 23, of Panama City was riding with his pregnant passenger, Tara Merchant, 19, of Panama City heading westbound in a 2003 Ford Focus on Baldwin Road.

Traffic was backed up on Baldwin Road going eastbound, according the Highway Police release.

Cooper slowly pulled his pickup onto Baldwin Road in between stopped traffic and into the path of Merchant’s Ford. Merchant collided with the right side of Cooper’s pickup.

The Ford Focus came to a rest in the westbound lane of Baldwin Road and Cooper’s F-150 pickup came to a final rest on the north shoulder of Baldwin Road.

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