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Reminder: State trooper says adults responsible to put seat belts on children

Since the beginning of 2020, we have reported on a number of young children who were involved in separate serious or deadly car crashes within or near Southwest Florida. The one thing in common about all these incidents is none of the children were restrained, either with a seat belt or in a car seat.

Lt. Greg Bueno with the Florida Highway Patrol reminds everyone of the importance of wearing a seat belt, especially ensuring young children are buckled up.

“As you described, we’ve had it all too often here locally, lately,” Bueno said.

Investigators of Wednesday’s crash in North Fort Myers confirmed the light at the intersection was red for a while when, all of a sudden, a mother driving a car ran the light and a truck slammed into the car, which hit a stopped car. Crash investigators believe the mom was likely on the phone.

“It’s reprehensible, I suppose is the word,” Tom Darling said. “I’m sure she must feel bad. But it’s a little late.”

“It’s that parents’ responsibility to instill this into your children,” Bueno said. “And it’s your responsibility to make sure every child in that car is buckled up.”

During Wednesday’s crash, the people inside the truck survived uninjured, in part, because they were wearing their seat belts. The woman in the sedan and her 7-year-old son were critically injured; neither wore a seat belt.

“Car crashes, for the lack of a better word, can be violent,” Bueno said. “And they’re traumatic, and they caused tragedy and injuries. And we see it each and every day.”

Reporter:Dannielle Garcia
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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