12/5/2012 12:19:00 PM Editorial Seat belt use might have saved young man's life
A rollover accident at the entrance to Chino Valley this past week is a sobering warning to us all. A 20-year-old man, police said, was traveling at a high rate of speed when he entered the roundabout at Highway 89 and Outer Loop Rd. He reportedly hit the curb, went airborne and then rolled his vehicle.
When the large, 2001 Dodge Dakota extra cab pickup came to rest, the passenger compartment appeared to be fully intact.
Tragically, police said, the young man was not wearing his seat belt, and the accident ejected him. He was transported to a Phoenix hospital, where he later died of his injuries.
Police will not know until toxicology reports come back whether alcohol or other factors were involved in this crash, but one thing is sure. People are much more likely to survive an accident without serious injury if they stay inside the vehicle, which is designed to protect them in case of impact.
We'll never know what Christopher Maldonado was thinking when he got into his truck on Dec. 1 and neglected to buckle his seat belt.
We can only speculate that he didn't think about not being here for Christmas. Please, always, buckle your seat belt.