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Embrace Life

Perhaps not what you expected?

My father-in-law died in a car accident well over a decade ago. A car that that had been on the shoulder after causing fender bender on I-15 in Salt Lake City pulled into traffic. The car he pulled in front of slowed down to avoid hitting him. Directly behind him, my father-in-law swerved to the right to avoid hitting the slowed car. His car hit the retaining wall on the right and ricocheted to the left, straight across all the lanes of traffic — into the path of an oncoming semi truck. The truck hit the driver’s door.

Given these circumstances, a seat belt may not have saved my father-in-law’s life. But statistically seat belt usage reduces risk of fatal injury by 45%. One of the most deadly accident risks comes when an occupant is ejected from a car. This did not happen in our case. He was pinned in the car. But still car accidents and seat belt incidents always weigh heavily on me. Time after time after time, I see news reports of people who could have survived, but didn’t because they didn’t take the time and bother to buckle up.

Next time you drive, remember all the loved ones waiting for you. Take the time, for them.


Seatbelt TruckSalt Lake Tribune — October 20, 2010

A Pleasant Grove man died from injuries sustained in a one-vehicle rollover crash on Interstate 80 near the Utah-Nevada border.

Utah Highway Patrol spokesman Todd Johnson said the accident occurred about 9 a.m. Tuesday when a westbound 1992 Toyota pickup veered off the road, over-corrected and rolled at least three times.

The driver, identified as Rodney M. Mcdonnell, 47, was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected, UHP reported. No one else was in the truck.

Mcdonnell was transported by helicopter to a Salt Lake area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Mark was a friend of mine. Monica, Alana, and I performed with him (and his wife) last winter in HMS Pinafore. He left a wife and six young children. How sad. How unnecessary.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Parker April 18, 2010, 2:15 am

    That’s awesome!

  • FreakSmack April 19, 2010, 9:35 pm

    That ad sends a powerful message, hopefully it makes people stop and think.
    .-= FreakSmack hopes you’ll read Pop N’ Fresh is Dead! =-.

  • Karl Foxley April 20, 2010, 2:34 am

    What a very powerful video Alison.
    .-= Karl Foxley hopes you’ll read Auto Directory Submission Software =-.

  • Rob April 20, 2010, 2:43 am

    I can’t see the video at work (content is filtered); however your message is very true.

    In the UK our Traffic Police are a lot heavier with their handling of traffic offences. Consequently, the vast majority of people appear to buckle up and ensure everyone is sat in a proper seat. With under 16 year olds it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure everyone is fastened up. If they aren’t, they get fined. It is the responsibility of any adult in the car to fasten up. If they don’t they get fined and if they happen to be in the passenger seat, the driver will also be fined.

    People’s awareness always needs to be raised and we see more and more graphic and shocking videos to urge people to make a change. Regrettably, there are those that just won’t listen; however for every person the message does get through to, it’s a small success.

    I’m sorry that your Father-in-law died from such a horrific accident.
    .-= Rob hopes you’ll read Visual Voicemail: An open letter to Vodafone UK =-.

  • StanD April 20, 2010, 2:04 pm

    That’s a great video. I’ve got three teenagers and they are going to see it first when they get home from school.

  • Kelly Lester April 30, 2010, 1:06 pm

    Oh Alison, so sorry to hear about your father-in-law! Too tragic. I’ve seen and shared this video and it’s so amazing. I’m the seat belt dictator from way back and my littlest still sits in a booster seat in our van because the seats are so big, her knees don’t reach the edge of the seat (not safe) and she’s 10! This is a great website for all car seat and safety belt regulations and tips: http://www.carseat.org/

  • marg November 23, 2011, 11:54 am

    What strikes me about the update on this post is that the cab of Mr. McDonnell’s truck is almost intact. Had he been wearing a seatbelt, it seems he would have survived the accident.

    How are his wife and children doing?

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