Nov 30, 2009 7:40 PM by Sarah Rosario

Eight Dead In Weekend Crashes, None wearing Seatbelts

State police are stressing the importance of seatbelts after a series of deadly accidents on I-10 this weekend. A total of eight people died in two crashes.

The first happened in Baton Rouge on Saturday. Five children and their driver were killed when a tire blew out on their mini van. That van was packed with 15 people from Harvey, Louisiana near New Orleans. The only ones wearing seatbelts were the two adults in the front seat.

Then in Acadia Parish, Sunday night, two people were killed when a driver crossed the median hitting several other vehicles. Both victims killed in the crash were from out of state. One of them was not wearing a seatbelt.

So far this year 63 people have died in car crashes in Acadiana.
34 of those were not wearing seatbelts. We hit the streets to see how locally was abiding by the law. Lafayette driver Sydney Duhon was caught not wearing his seatbelt. He said, "I wear it more with my wife than with myself." While Derek Reed said, "I make sure everyone in my car has it on before I ever drive."

When we walked to Lance Roberts car and asked him why we wasn't wearing his, his jaw dropped with surprise. Lafayette Driver Omega Young felt the same way, "Wow, you got me on the spot," he said.

It may seem funny at first, but when you look at the numbers it gets serious fast. Since Thanksgiving Thursday, there have been eight fatal crashes statewide. 15 people are now dead, 12 of which were not wearing seatbelts.

State troopers are now emphazings the importance. The proper way to wear you seat belt is over the solider and over you lap. Placing it under you arm or behind your back won't protect you. "Wearing your seatbelt improperly could result in being partially ejected in a vehicle in the event of a rollover or any form of crash," said Trooper Stephen Hammons.

When we asked the drivers why they weren't wearing their seatbelt, their responses varied; Sydney Duhon said, "I don't know." Roberts responded with, "I normally do, I just went to get something to eat, but I normally put it on. Young said, "I just don't think about it. A lot of us get in the car and are just trying to get from point A to point B."

So while some may continue to carelessly drive, others are now planning a funeral.

Sarah Rosario



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