Seatbelts Save Lives

After recent fatalities on area roads, law enforcement want to remind motorists to always wear seat belts and have children properly restrained in appropriate car seats or booster seats.

In the past week, a 7-year-old Bremerton boy was killed after being ejected from a minivan that crashed into a guardrail in Gorst on Monday and a 32-year-old Skokomish man died after striking a power pole on Lynch Road last Friday. The boy was not properly restrained in a booster seat and the man was not wearing a seat belt.

In Monday’s crash, six others in the vehicle were uninjured. And in Friday’s crash, a 28-year-old woman sustained only minor injuries.

Speed is also believed to be contributing factors in both crashes.

The State Patrol is investigating the Gorst collision and is looking for witnesses.

The Mason County Sheriff’s Office says the woman in the vehicle on Lynch Road reported that the man (identified as William Lambert) was driving at a high rate of speed prior to striking the pole.

“It was caused by speed,” Chief Deputy Ryan Spurling told MasonWebTV Powered by HCC. “One of her comments (to responding deputies) were that they were up close to 100 miles an hour.”

The witness also reported the two had been drinking but Spurling said that is still under investigation.

“I would say that contributing factors are speed and possibly alcohol but I don’t know that for sure,” the Chief concluded. “I know alcohol was involved. They’d been drinking – I don’t know to what extent.”

As with the crash in Gorst, the crash on Lynch Road is another example of how seat belts save lives.

“The biggest issue,” Spurling explained. “He wasn’t wearing a seat belt. He was ejected. She was (wearing a seat belt). And she was okay.”