A Richmond man died late Monday after a one-car accident in southern Franklin County the sixth fatal accident there in as many weeks.
Franklin County Undersheriff Craig Davis said Thomas Feuerborn, 28, apparently was driving eastbound about 10 p.m. on Allen Road, four miles west of Richmond, when he lost control of his 1998 Pontiac Sunbird. The car went into the north ditch and rolled; Feuerborn was ejected.
Franklin County Undersheriff Craig Davis
A passing motorist discovered Feuerborn's body at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, but Davis said authorities believed Feuerborn died instantly.
Feuerborn's wreck had one factor in common with most of the other recent fatalities, Davis said: He wasn't wearing a seat belt.
"I've been in this business a long time, and I think seat belts would've made a difference in all but two of them," he said. "Seat belts would've made a drastic difference."
Franklin County recorded just two fatal accidents all year before Sept. 30. That day, 14-year-old Kassey Hays was a passenger in a car eastbound on Thomas Road when it went off the road, down a ditch and struck an embankment. The car then became airborne and struck a large tree on the rear driver's side where Hays was sitting, officers said.
Hays, a Pomona High School student, was wearing a seat belt and had to be extricated.
Since then, five more people have died in traffic accidents all but one in one-vehicle wrecks scattered throughout the county. Davis was at a loss to explain the streak, calling it "bad luck."
"I don't know what else to attribute it to," he said. "There's no other common denominator."
Except, that is, for the seat-belt factor.
Among the recent fatality victims, Davis said, only Hays appears to have used her seat belt.
"From my experience and the experience of about every law officer seat belts cut down on the seriousness of injuries and prevent death in many cases," he said.
"The passenger compartments, for the most cases, were intact. If people could've stayed in the car, or stayed put in the car, they probably would've been OK."