13 are living proof that seat belts save lives

September 02, 1992|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Staff Writer

Maryland State Police honored 13 people, including four children, whose lives were saved or whose injuries were greatly reduced by the use of safety belts in their "Saved By the Belt" ceremony yesterday at the Westminster Barracks.

Barracks Commander Lt. Roy Neigh, assisted by county commissioners Donald Dell and Elmer Lippy, presented the certificates to the honorees as their guests and Crash Dummies Vince and Larry watched.

First Sgt. Stephen Reynolds said 80 percent of the drivers in Carroll County have their seat belts buckled, but area police agencies are striving to improve that high rating.

But the recipients of the award did not need to be told about the merits of the car restraints.

"I'm thankful to be here today and thankful for the seat belt," said Brenda Lee Parrish, who was driving her car on Md. 194 near Keymar last June 24, when she saw a U.S. mail truck coming out of a side road. She swerved to avoid an accident, was struck broadside and knocked off the highway by the truck.

"I could feel the doors pressing in on me and the glass shattering around my head," said Mrs. Parrish, who said she was treated at Carroll County General Hospital and released within hours.

Jay I. Sochrin, another honoree, described an accident last April.

"I was driving at 50 mile an hour when another car hit my car, spun it around and it turned over one and one half times, landing on the roof," said Mr. Sochrin. "I was worried about my wife and children, but when I looked around the kids were hanging upside down, still in their seats, held there by the belt.

"The trooper who responded to the scene had to cut the seat belts to release the children and even called my house the next day and remarked how astonished he was that the children were not injured."

Similar stories were told by many of the recipients, most of whom said they never ride in a car without buckling up. They urged all to do the same.

Others honored were: Richard V. Boswell and his grandchildren, Jenna and Andrew Boswell; William R. Miller Sr.; Eric R. Nowicki; Kimberly A. DiMaggio; Allan G. George and Margaret C. Baratta.

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