A wreck victim's family urges you to buckle up - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

A wreck victim's family urges you to buckle up

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March 8, 2004

Pelham - We hear about it all the time - someone dies in a car wreck and they weren't wearing a seat belt. Could they have been saved if they had buckled up? After three deadly weekend wrecks in South Georgia, one woman is urging you to buckle up.

Nora Jean David, of Pelham, shifted through her demolished truck and took out her personal belongings including pictures of her family. Her son's long-time girlfriend, 28-year-old Lena Englehart, died Sunday when she ran the truck off the road, flew into the air, and crashed into a utility pole guide wire on Harmony Road.

"It's a shame to lose someone so young," said Nora Jean David. "This has been a heartbreaking weekend. This has been so hard on our family, her mother, and all of us."

Englehart was one of three drivers who died in separate wrecks this weekend. 17 year-old Jennifer Kent, a Fullington Academy student, lost control of her SUV on County Road 322 near Pinehurst around midnight Friday. And, 48 year-old John Michael Weeks, of Moultrie, died after wrecking on a Brooks County road early Sunday morning. All three victims were ejected from the vehicles, and none were wearing a seat belt.

"You have about a 50% better chance of surviving a wreck if you're wearing a seat belt," said Camilla Police Sergeant Anthony Donaldson.

Sgt. Donaldson says wearing a seat belt is also the law, unless you're in a pick-up truck. And, two of the victims drove pick-up trucks. "I think that's a law that should be changed, and I hope it will be soon," said Sgt. Donaldson.

David says it's hard to tell if her daughter-in-law would be alive today is she had buckled up, but she knows her chance of survival would have been greater if she wasn't ejected. "Please remember to wear your seat belt and drive safe and cautiously," said David.

David hopes the sight of twist wreckage will make you think twice the next time you get into your car, so you'll take a life-saving second to buckle up.

Fullington Academy is holding a memorial service for Jennifer Kent Tuesday morning at 8:30AM at the school.

Posted at 6:15PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com