CIRCLEVILLE — Lieutenant Steven Herron, commander of the Circleville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Robert Radcliff, Pickaway County Sheriff, presented three individuals with their memberships to the “Saved by the Belt” Club this week.
Madeline Burton, of Ashville, and Stacy Redding and Stacy Spencer of New Holland, were presented with their certificates following accidents earlier this year.
“We go to schools and public safety events to talk about wearing a seatbelt and we issue citations for not wearing a seatbelt but very rarely do we recognize those people that are a positive in our community that make a difference in safety,” Herron stated.
Radcliff said they don’t want to issue citations but wearing a seatbelt is important.
“Even worse than a citation is to notify a family member that someone passed away that could have potentially been saved by a belt,” Radcliff told The Circleville Herald. “Unfortunately that happens many times but we’re here today to present three people who used good judgment and wore their seatbelts. We’re proud to be able to present these certificates to honor you for doing the right thing.”
According to Herron, Redding and Spencer, who were in the same vehicle, were involved in a traffic crash on U.S. 22 on the westside of Pickaway County when another vehicle traveled left of center and struck the vehicle they were traveling in, hitting them head on.
“Ms. Spencer was not injured and Mr. Redding was transported to the hospital where he was treated for minor injuries,” Herron commented. “In talking to the troopers that were on scene, the accident could have been so much worse. Many times we see that with people not wearing their seatbelts.”
Radcliff said Burton’s crash occurred on Aug. 4 on U.S. 23 in Harrison Township. Another vehicle turned in front of her onto U.S. 23, causing the crash.
“She was transported to the hospital but her injuries were minor to what they could have been,” Radcliff added. “Troopers and deputies on the scene recognized the seriousness of the accident and the potential of injury in the accident. I’m proud to present this certificate to her.”
Redding gave credit to her seatbelt for her walking away without injury and the minor injuries her husband, Spencer, had.
“The only reason he was hurt was the force was more on his side,” Redding said. “Thank God we walked away from it. I’m so grateful to be alive and see our families. I’ve always been a seatbelt advocate to all three of our boys. It’s very important. ”
Burton had just dropped off her two children 20 minutes prior to the crash. Burton’s husband, Brian, is a firefighter that responded to the accident and she said she was glad it wasn’t worse.
“I’m glad he got to see me alive and didn’t respond to the accident to see something worse,” she said.
Radcliff said crashes happen quickly and it’s important to take safety measures.
“The sad thing is how quickly it can happen,” Radcliff continued. “You can just be going down the road and then something happens.”
In 2018, 419 people were killed in Ohio in traffic crashes where a seatbelt was available but not in use.