By Vanity Delbridge, SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) – Four Dansville teens have died in a car crash.
The accident occurred early Saturday morning, July 27, when the driver, Rebecca Earner, 16, reportedly hit an embankment before crashing into a tree after failing to observe a stop sign at the intersection of County Route 13 and 13C in Allegany County.
Earner, and three passengers, Ambra Eddleton, 16, Justin Carpenter, 14, and Kyrstin Wolfanger, 14 all died at the scene.
The fourth passenger, 16-year-old Emily Bird, was taken by Mercy Flight to Strong Memorial Hospital where she is in stable condition.
According to police, Bird was the only one wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.
New York State Police Deputy John Morgan is convinced that proper seatbelt use could’ve made the difference for the four teens that did not survive.
“I can’t say for sure whether the other ones would’ve lived or not, but it definitely would have given them a much better chance at survival.”
There has been recent legislation to pass a bill in New York State that would make safety belt use in the rear seat of a car mandatory.
The current law requires seatbelt use for front seat passengers, and rear seat use for children under the age of 8.
As of now, passengers over the age of 16 are not legally required to buckle up in the back seat.
Morgan says that this is an isolated incident in the area, and there have been no other fatal crashes in the county.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 28 percent of passengers do not buckle up in the back seat. Those who don’t wear a seat belt are eight times more likely to be injured or killed in a crash.
The investigation is ongoing.