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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Lack of Seatbelt Use Blamed for Serious Teen Crash Injuries

Two Teens Thrown From Vehicle, Two Trapped Inside

The Florida Highway Patrol reported that on June 5, four teens were seriously injured in a one-vehicle crash in Levy County.

Two were ejected from the pickup and two were trapped inside.

Hospitalized with serious injuries were driver Alejandro Mora, 18, and passengers Caleb Rayan Hampton, 16, Armando Mora, 18, and Christina Hampton, 18.

In a press release, the Florida Highway Patrol stated that it is not known why Alejandro Mora drove onto the north shoulder of the road after failing to negotiate a curve.

Mora apparently veered right to avoid a ditch, crossed both lanes of the county road and drove onto the south shoulder. His 2000 Ford Ranger spun counterclockwise, lost traction and tumbled over several times before landing on its passenger side.

One of the injured teens was flown by helicopter to Shands at the University of Florida.

According to FHP Lt. Patrick Riordan, none of the four were wearing their seatbelts, and Alejandro Mora and Caleb Hampton were ejected when the pickup flipped. Riordan added that injuries are often more serious when occupants do not wear seatbelts.

"There is a definite correlation between wearing seatbelts and injuries that are sustained when a vehicle rolls," Riordan said. "There is clear and convincing evidence that when seatbelts are not worn, injuries will be worse."

Riordan said that the four had apparently been swimming at a local spring before the crash occurred. The FHP said the investigation is continuing and charges may be rendered.

Is your teen prepared to get behind the wheel of a car by him or herself? Discuss the necessity of wearing a seat belt and the five worst teen driving mistakes with your son or daughter now!

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