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March/April 2014 Smart, Safe & Sober Newsletter

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Saved by the Belt and Bag Awards

All across the Commonwealth, law enforcement agencies recognize individuals from young to old, even some in their own ranks, who were involved in a traffic crash and, because they were wearing a safety belt or were in a child safety restraint, their injuries were reduced or their lives were saved.

The Saved by the Belt & Bag Program is open to any law enforcement agency. Nominations for individuals who were involved in traffic crashes and were wearing safety restraint devices are being accepted on a continual basis. There is no cost to the nominating agency – all recognition materials are provided by the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police through funding from a grant from the Virginia Highway Safety Office. To participate, download the nomination form.

The Saved by the Belt Awards Committee has been carefully reviewing nominations the past year for the Virginia Saved by the Belt & Bag Awards and have distributed awards recognizing 12 citizens and 3 law enforcement officers since April 2013. These individuals are here with us today because they made the lifesaving decision to buckle up:

Survivor(s) Name

Agency Who Nominated Survivor(s)

Edward E. Davis
Mr. Davis was traveling west on Route 460 at approximately 2100 hours. Bedford Police recieved a report of a vehicle traveling east in the westbound lane headed into the city. Sgt. Monk was behind Mr. Davis who was driving a 2002 Ford Explorer when he saw a vehicle approaching in the wrong lane. Sgt Monk activated his emergency lights attempting to warn both drivers. Mr. Davis was struck head-on by the second vehicle a 2008 Kia Serento. Sgt. Monk exited his vehicle immediately after the crash and Officer Maddox arrived. Sgt. Monk tended to the person driving the Kia. Officer Maddox approached Mr. Davis. Mr. Davis had his seatbelt on and both airbags deployed. Mr. Davis did not have any injuries other than a bruise on his arm because he was wearing his seatbelt.

Bedford Police Department

Rosalie Ava Terry
Ms. Terry was traveling south and a vehicle swerved into her lane and struck her vehicle head on. The vehicles were both traveling at about 35 mph. The driver of the vehicle that swerved stated he was swerving to miss a vehicle that slowed in front of him. Ms Terry did not have any time to react and she was struck head-on. Ms. Terry had pain from the seatbelt and may have fractured her ankle. The use of the seat belt and the airbag saved her from serious injury.

Bedford Police Department

Regina Younger and Jayden Younger
Ms. Younger was traveling west on Route 460 within the city limits of Bedford. A vehicle pulled out from a side street in front of Ms. Younger's vehicle. Ms Younger was traveling the speed limit of 50 mph when her vehicle struck the passenger side of the second vehicle. Ms Younger had her 5 year old son restrained in his car seat properly. Ms. Younger was wearing her seat belt and the air bags deployed. Ms. Younger and her son were not injured as they were both properly restrained in their vehicle.

Bedford Police Department

Sgt. Michael Streetman
Sgt. Streetman was operating an unmarked police vehicle with emergency equipment (lights and sirens) activated. As he was traveling Northbound on Battlefield Blvd, he stopped at the intersection of Battlefield Blvd/Debaun Loop against a red light. After ensuring there were no vehicles in the intersection, he proceeded through the intersection with emergency equipment on. A second vehicle failed to yield to the emergency vehicle operated by Sgt. Streetman and traveled westbound into the intersection causing Sgt. Streetman's vehicle to strike it's side. There was approximately $3000 damage to Sgt. Streetman's vehicle and $2000 to the second vehicle. All parties invovled were utilizing both lap and shoulder belts during the accident, mitigating severe injury.

Chesapeake Police Department

Officer Rockie Akhavan
Officer Akhavan was operating a marked Fairfax County Police cruiser on 166. He observed a traffic infraction and attempted to make a traffic stop on the right shoulder of the highway. While slowing on the shoulder, an approaching intoxicated driver struck the cruiser from the rear, pushing it 80 feet and causing the cruiser to strike the vehicle he was stopping, pushing that vehicle 190 feet. The original striking vehicle then bounced off a guardrail and struck the cruiser again. The cruiser was totaled. Because of the use of the seatbelt, Officer Akhavan had only minor injuries, and remained conscious and alert throughout the entire crash. Citizens in the area assisted in getting Officer Akhavan out of his vehicle.

Fairfax County Police Department      

Jason M. Jones
Mr. Jones was heading north on Neff Avenue in Harrisonburg when a vehicle traveling east on an intersecting street failed to stop for the stop sign and impacted Mr. Jones' vehicle in the left rear door. The impact caused Mr. Jones' vehicle to overturn one time, coming to rest upright. The eastbound vehicle was spun around and came to rest heading west. Mr. Jones' vehicle was totaled, but Mr. Jones suffered only minor injuries thanks to his vehicle restraints and airbags.

Harrisonburg Police Department

Richard Campbell and Gracie Tattem
Gracie was riding with her grandfather, Richard Campbell, and was traveling west on Rt. 460. He approached the intersection of Antioch Rd. with the intention of turning left. He used appropriate signalling and he stopped to allow oncoming traffic to pass. The second vehicle, whose driver was not belted, failed to stop and rear ended Mr. Campbell's vehicle. Mr. Campbell was wearing his seatbelt and Gracie was in her car seat. Gracie's grandmother, Linda, had just watched a video on how to properly install and then reinstalled her seat approximately a week prior to this incident. EMS Chief Rusty Chase said that if Gracie had not been in a properly secured and installed child seat she would have been seriously injured or killed.

Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office

Veronica Auer
This was a two vehicle crash. Ms. Auer was traveling in the left lane when the other vehicle changed lanes into her lane running her off of the road. Ms. Auer tried to avoid the vehicle, but was struck. Both vehicles lost control and ran off the road to the right. Both vehicles were traveling at least 50mph before the accident occurred. Ms. Auer's vehicle (Pontiac Solstice) rolled at least one time before coming to rest. The other vehicle came to rest on its roof. Ms. Auer was transported to the hospital with minor injuries. She had an apparent seat belt mark across her chest. If Ms. Auer was not wearing her seat belt, it is my belief that she would have most likely been ejected and/or sustained serious life threatening injuries.

James City County Police Department

Evguenia Orlova
On September 14, 2012, James City County Police Department responded to a 2-vehicle crash involving a GMC Envoy and a Honda CRV. The GMC crossed over the center the lane and struck the Honda head-on. It is estimated that both vehicles were traveling 40mph upon impact. The driver of the Honda, Evguenia Orlova, was trapped in the vehicle and had to be extricated. The front-end of the vehicle was pushed towards her, trapping her legs. Ms. Orlova was flown to Riverside Regional Medical Center. She suffered a seatbelt burn across her chest and sustained two broken legs, a broken arm and a rib fracture (possibly from the airbag). In all, she suffered 15 fractures total. She had mulitple surgeriesto repair her legs and spent approximately 2 weeks in the hospital. Upon release from the hospital, she would spend at least 6-9 months in a wheelchair. After looking at the condition of the vehicle, the type of crash and the injuries sustained by Ms. Orlova, it is evident that if she were not wearing her seatbelt, she would have suffered even greater injury or possibly not have survived the crash.

James City County Police Department

Amanda McCauley, Lyndsey McCauley and Shelby McCauley
The vehicle Mrs. Amanda McCauley and her children operating was travelling westbound on Rt. 249 at the posted speed of 55 MPH. A vehicle travelling eastbound had slowed to turn into a driveway off of Rt 249 and tunred in front of the vehicle that Mrs. McCauley and her children were in. She had no time to react to avoid the impact. Amanda, Lyndsey and Shelby were all propely restrained using the vehicles lap and shoulder safety belt and Amanda and Lyndsey were also protected from the airbag deployment. The driver of the other vehicle was charged with failing to yield the right of way.

New Kent County Sheriff’s Office

Officer Jasmin Nicol Parson
Officer Jasmin Parson was responding to an emergency call when she was involved in a crash. While moving through an intersection where she had a green light and had her emergency lights and siren were activated, her vehicle was struck by a vehicle making a u-turn at the intersection. Officer Parson's airbag did not deploy for an unknown reason and the fact that she had her seat belt on saved her from certain severe injury due to the speed of her vehicle and the impact of the crash. The occupants of the other vehicle were not injured but were cited for failure to yield the right of way to an emergency vehicle.

Newport News Police Department 


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