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Police Stress the Importance of Wearing Seat Belts After 17 Die Over Holiday Weekend

Posted by attorney Christopher Hoffmann

Over the July 4 weekend, there were unfortunately 17 fatalities in traffic accidents. While many of these accidents appear to have been caused by intoxicated drivers, one thing that we need to be reminded of is the importance of safe driving habits. One of these safe driving habits that is especially crucial for children, is the necessity to always wear a seat belt.

Not every accident is avoidable. Even safe driving and being cautious cannot protect against every accident. Some accidents happen in spite of precautionary actions. But wearing seat belts drastically increases the chances of survival when you are involved in an unexpected accident.

Police say that at least seven of the seventeen deaths this year in traffic accidents over the fourth of July weekend were individuals who were not wearing seat belts. All seventeen of these deaths are tragic. It is impossible to know whether seat belts could have saved any lives, but it is important to remember that wearing a seat belt can significantly decrease your risk of fatality, especially at a time when the amount of drunk drivers on the road may be higher.

Jason A. Rittermeyer, 32, of Archie, MO, was driving his vehicle in Cass County on Missouri Route B near Cantrell Road when he lost control and veered off the right side of the road. He then steered back onto the road, but then skidded across the highway where he was hit by another car on the passenger side. Both cars ended up on the south side of the road.

Rittermeyer was killed in the crash and tragically Noah Rittermeyer, 10, Sage Rittermeyer, 9, Anna Rittermeyer, 8, and Aleah M. Lucas, 22, of Olathe, KS, were also killed in the accident. Sage and Lucas were allegedly not wearing seat belts. Sage was ejected from the vehicle.

The driver of the other vehicle was not seriously injured, though he was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Just a little over a day later two more people died in traffic accidents on Friday, July 5, 2013. Tracy L. Adams, 45, of Wright City, was driving her car on Westwoods Road in Warren County just east of North Strack Church Road. When the car traveled off the right side of the road, she veered right, to correct the drift, but as she got back on the road she overcorrected and the car turned counterclockwise and went off the road. The car struck a ditch and flipped over. It has been reported that she was not wearing a seat belt. Adams was ejected part way from the vehicle and somehow under up underneath the car. The county coroner pronounced Adams dead at the scene.

And then Elizabeth Baylark, 79, of St. Louis, lost control of the vehicle as she was driving in St. Louis County on Missouri Highway 180 east of McKelvey Road. It appears that she suffered from a medical episode of some kind. Her car went off the road, striking a pedestrian who was waiting at a bus stop. Baylark was taken to DePaul Hospital where she was pronounced dead. It was reported that she was wearing a seat belt. The pedestrian was injured in the accident, but not severely.

These are just a few of the stories. The following day six people died in traffic crashes.

Missouri Car Accident Attorney

Take whatever precautions you can, including always wearing a sealt belt. And if you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by another driver’s negligence, contact a Missouri car accident attorney.

Additional resources provided by the author

At The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C., we focus our law practice exclusively on handling accident injury cases. With more than 15 years of experience, no case is too complex for attorney Christopher Hoffmann. Our goal is to secure maximum financial compensation for your physical and emotional recovery.

Learn more about our firm and how we can help you bring a claim for serious injuries or wrongful death following a car accident in Missouri and Illinois. Your initial consultation is always free. Call us at (314) 361-4242.

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