Investigators released more information into Sunday’s deadly crash near Valley that claimed the lives of four Nebraskans. There were six individuals in three vehicles and none were wearing seat belts.
Beverly Reicks is the president of the National Safety Council of Nebraska and says, “No one. None of the six individuals were wearing a seat belt. As a safety advocate perspective in an organization that spends much of their time talking about seat belts and the importance of seat belts, it is sort of like a kick in the gut, really.”
Reicks says they spend a lot of time focusing on teenage drivers and seat belt use. She says they conducted a public service announcement contest this year for all Nebraska high schools. She says 59 schools submitted those PSA’s about the importance of seat belts. She says they also message teens about seat belt use because there is a high unbelted rate among teens.
Reicks says studies show that 79% of all Nebraskans buckle up every time they get in the car so their work isn’t done yet. She says 75% to 80% of those killed in vehicle accidents were not wearing a seat belt and wearing one increases the chance of survival by 40% to 60%.
Authorities say a teenager driving a pick up ran a stop sign at 152nd Street and Highway 36. The pick up hit a vehicle and pushed it into oncoming traffic where it was struck by another vehicle. Those killed have been identified as 40 year old Amber Wood of Kennard, 49 year old Jason Miller of Valley, 57 year old John and 55 year old Dorine Prusa from Howells. 17 year old Jacob Olson and 16 year old Madison Keith were injured but survived the crash.