Car accidents claim the lives of over 37,000 people each year. That’s not including the 2.35 million people who are injured in these crashes. While a lot of car accidents are preventable, not all of them are. But did you know that by wearing your seat belt, you reduce your chances of being killed in a car accident by half! That is one thing that I am very diligent about, wearing my seat belt. Before driving the car anywhere, I always make sure my seat belt is buckled, along with anyone else that is in the car with me at that time. It’s such a simple task, yet there are millions of people out there that don’t buckle up. Recently in Brighton, Colorado a family of six was involved in a fatal car accident. Witnesses stated that the rear left tire blew, the car lost control, and rolled off to the side of the road. While the story is extremely tragic, there is one person that needs to be highlighted as a hero and an overall compassionate human being.
While driving along I-76 near Buckley Road in Brighton, Colorado an SUV experienced a blown tire. This caused the driver to lose control and veer off to the right side of the road. The SUV rolled 2 1/2 times, eventually coming to a stop while resting on its top. Five of the people in this SUV were not wearing seat belts and all five of those family members were thrown from the vehicle. The family is from Illinois but were in Colorado on vacation. Unfortunately the father passed away at the scene, while the mother and three other children were injured. The children ranged from an infant up to 5-years-old.
The child who was in the car seat was not injured. As you can see from the picture below, she is being comforted by a police officer who arrived on the scene. Officer Nick Struck was the third officer to arrive. “When you hear that there’s children involved, I’ll tell you what, everyone that responds to that scene, you get that pit in your stomach. The first thing we do when we get on scene is we just try to, if we can comfort anybody, of course we’re going to go to the kids,” says Struck.
When he arrived, he was immediately handed a small girl who was about two years old. Struck who has a two-year old daughter began to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to this young girl to distract her. “So then the role we do is, to keep them safe, what would I want that dad to do if it was my daughter? I know for my daughter, it’s just the attention that someone is there, listening. It’s the same for adults, but kids, they take it on a whole other level. They’ll gravitate to you, and I remember when I was holding her, she was grabbing the back of my arm, which is something my daughter does. Just stroking to the music, ’Twinkle, twinkle.’ I have a 2-year-old daughter, and she’s my first kid. So of course, your first thought is that could be your little daughter. I’m not a medical person, but I know how to give a hug to somebody, and you better believe every one of those officers on scene would do the same thing.”
What a heartbreaking story. Wearing a seat belt can literally save the lives of every person in your car. It’s okay to be strict about this rule. It’s amazing to see what police officers do for the citizens they are sworn to protect. Even if it’s not necessarily protecting them from something physical, this officer took the time to comfort this small girl and protect her from one of the most emotional events this family will ever experience. I’m glad he was caught on camera helping her out, and our condolences go out to this family that was involved in this fatal accident.