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Accident Victim and Seat Belts

January 03, 1988

The article ("Not Just Another Freeway Fatality?" Dec. 21) concerning the tragic traffic death of Samantha Bass was indeed sad, and the mourning of her grief-stricken family was very real. However, one very important point, mentioned almost as an afterthought, was not emphasized enough. Samantha was not wearing a seat belt!

While all other elements in this story were beyond the control of the victim, using the seat belt was not. There were many elements of decision and responsibility involved in this story, but Samantha herself, unfortunately, made a very important decision, which very well may have cost her her life.

Thirty years as a nurse and the treatment of countless accident victims has convinced me that seat belts do make a difference. If Samantha's family can see this as an opportunity to educate the public, rather than be consumed by their need to affix blame on the other parties involved in the accident, maybe Samantha's death will not have been in vain.

DORIS M. BINGHAM

Buena Park

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