Recent news reports of accidents are a reminder of the importance of seat belt use. A head-on crash happened on Tuesday evening, October 18, 2016 near Caldwell on U.S. Highway 20/26 between a 1997 Ford Taurus driven by Joseph Upchurch of Nampa and a 2002 Chevrolet Impala. The Ford crossed the center line while traveling eastbound on the state highway near the intersection of Farmway Road, and struck the Chevrolet driven by Jorge Ruiz of Nyssa, Oregon. The Ford rolled and came to a stop off the side of the road. The driver, Upchurch, who was wearing a seatbelt, was transported to a local medical center. The highway was blocked for almost 2 hours. The crash is still under investigation by the ISP.
Another accident which occurred on Saturday afternoon October 22, 2016 on Notus Road near Red Top Road was a single car crash with tragic results. A 65 year-old woman from Parma, Martha Booth, who was driving a 1998 Dodge pickup on Notus Road, went off the road onto the left shoulder, returned to the road and overcorrected, causing the pick-up to roll. A child who was a passenger in the pickup was ejected and died at the scene. Ms. Booth was transported to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center by air ambulance. Neither the driver nor the child was a wearing seat belt. The ISP investigated the crash scene for 3 ½ hours.
The Office of Highway Safety-ITD reports that seatbelts are estimated to be 50% effective in preventing serious and fatal injuries. 80% of Idahoans used their seat belts in 2014 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) statistics. A large number of the fatalities involving children indicate they were unbelted at the time of the crash.
If you have been injured as a result of a vehicle crash, please call the skilled Racine Olson personal injury team at 208-232-6101.
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