Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Accidents claim two

A 40-year-old man from Cumuto died yesterday when he was thrown from the vehicle he was driving, after it slammed into a median and flipped several times.

Dead is Jeffrey Antoine, from Cumuto Main Road.

Antoine was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident, police said.

Antoine’s death was one of two road fatalities to occur in separate incidents yesterday.

According to police reports, around 4.30 a.m., Antoine was driving his gold Nissan Sentra, PBG 7438, east along the Churchill-Roosevelt Highway, in the vicinity of Wallerfield, when he lost control of the car.

The car struck the median and flipped several times before lan­ding on its hood.

Antoine, the lone occupant of the vehicle, was thrown out of the car and landed on the roadway. He died on the spot.

Following Antoine’s death, Constable Brent Batson, coordinator of the Police Service Safety Project, sought to emphasise the importance of seatbelts to the safety of motorists.

“We at the police would like to remind the public that once you are ejected from a motor vehicle in a collision, you have a 75 per cent chance of death on impacting fixed objects or the road,” Batson said in a telephone interview with the Express.

“Seatbelts reduce the chance of any fatal injury by over 50 per cent, and people have this misconception that airbags can keep you safe without wearing the seatbelt because a lot of vehicles come with airbags now and people don’t bother to buckle up.

“Airbags are a supplemental restraint system and are designed to work in conjunction with your seatbelt,” he said.

In addition to the protection seatbelts provide, Batson also sought to remind motorists that buckling up is the law and carries a $1,000 fine if breached.

“Since January 1995, seatbelt legislation has been in place and the entire country knows the importance of seatbelt safety and the fine for not wearing it is high—$1,000,” Batson said.

“During this festive season, it is easy for people to sometimes jump in their vehicle and forget (to buckle up) because they are just going down the road, but there are other things that could happen and we want to make sure you buckle up because it is the first line of defence in a crash and we can’t emphasise its importance enough,” he said.

In another incident, a homeless man was knocked down and killed along the Audrey Jeffers Highway around 4 p.m. yesterday.

According to police reports, a man was driving his Nissan Almera west along the highway in the area commonly known as the Foreshore, when the homeless man ran across the road.

The homeless man was struck and killed on the spot. Up to press time, he remained unidentified.

The road fatality figure for the year to date now stands at 16—two shy of the toll for the same period last year.