This could be any of us. At the Portland Airport, you’re a passenger being dropping off curbside. You say your good-byes and go to grab the bags from the trunk. Most days, you walk off into the terminal.
Tragically, Dr. Joel Hopkin suffered life-threatening crush injuries when a wayward car set of a chain reaction, ending with a car crushing Dr. Hopkin against his car, as he unloaded his bags.
According to reports, Mr. and Mrs. Kerr started the chain reaction when Mrs. Kerr left their vehicle to look for an arriving air passenger. When she left their car to look for the passenger, Mr. Kerr climbed across into the driver’s seat. When he climbed over the middle, he apparently knocked the car into gear. Mr. Kerr may have panicked and hit the accelerator. The Kerr vehicle struck a vehicle in front of it, propelling that vehicle into Dr. Hopkin.
By all accounts, it was a horrendous crash caused by a speeding driver. Yesterday’s fatal in rural Yamhill County involved a single Toyota Camry carrying seven passengers. That’s a five seater, so there was no way for all occupants to have seatbelts.
Only two survived the impact with a large tree. Probably no coincidence that one survivor–a toddler–was properly belted in a car seat. That’s another reminder that seat belts save lives. Some will say that seat belts are irrelevant here because the driver was out of control. True about the driver, but the thing is that passengers don’t control drivers, especially when the passengers are children. And no one controls other vehicles.
So it’s a simple sobering reminder. Buckle it.