Very soon, you’ll hear the public service announcements about “100 Days of Summer Heat.” They have nothing to do with our hazy, hot and humid summers. Instead, they signal the start of a campaign to save lives but warning motorists to ensure they’re wearing their seat belts — and that those traveling with them do the same.
The campaign covers other factors fueling a surge in highway deaths of Georgia — impaired driving, texting (or distracted driving as its now called) and other things that divide our focus on the road.
But its the seat belt use that is the most puzzling. Proven lifesavers, there are those who do not want to use safety harnesses. Or there are those who’s guardians don’t mandate there use.
In six days in Northwest Georgia, we’ve seen two people killed and several others injured. Both fatalities were not wearing seat belts. In one case, a Summerville mother now faces felony charges in an accident that killed her 11-year-old son. We’ll have more on their stories in a minute. First, please see a simple announce from local police about staying safe:
Media release: “The Calhoun Police Department is participating in the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety National Mobilization, which is part of 2017 One Hundred Days of Summer HEAT from May 22 through Sept. 3. The first mobilization is the Click-it or Ticket Campaign and is part of The National Mobilization. It will be conducted by the Calhoun Police Department during the weeks of May 22–June 4. Officers will be setting up safety check points looking for un-restrained drivers and passengers. Chief Garry Moss encourages all drivers and passengers to buckle up and be safe this summer.”
And here are two lessons on why that message is so important. The information comes from our news colleagues at WRGA 98.7 FM:
May 15: The Georgia State Patrol says that a Chattooga County woman lost her life in a single-vehicle car accident early Monday. Troopers that 23-year-old Jessica “Jessie” Tudor crashed sometime between 5 and 5:30 a.m. She was headed north on East Armuchee Road in Walker County when her vehicle, a 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser, left the roadway and struck culvert – flipping several times.Tudor was not wearing her seatbelt, according to the GSP.
May 9: One child was killed and two were seriously injured in a two-vehicle accident on Taylor’s Ridge in Chattooga County on May 9. According to Sgt. Tommy Sturdivent with the Georgia State Patrol, a 2006 Kia Spectra was traveling north and had crested Taylor’s Ridge, when it went off the right side of the road in a curve. The driver steered the vehicle back onto the roadway but crossed the center lane and rotated counterclockwise before striking a 1999 Nissan Quest van, which was in the outside lane going southbound. The Quest rotated and came to rest, but the Kia continued down the ridge, flipped twice, ejecting the two children. 11-year-old Kendrick Hines of Summerville was pronounced dead at the scene and 7-year old Keenan Hines was airlifted to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga. The children in the Kia were not restrained. (Charges have since been filed against the mother; click Summerville News)
May 20: Funeral services for Kendrick will be held this Saturday, according Willis Funeral Home. Those services: “Homegoing service will be held Saturday, May 20, 2017, at 1 p.m. at North Summerville Baptist Church, 119 Maplewood Drive, Summerville, with Pastor Kevin Roach and other ministers officiating. His remains will lie in state at the church on Saturday after 11 a.m. until the funeral hour. Interment, Summerville Cemetery. Full obituary