It’s a well-known fact that seatbelts save lives, so it is imperative that drivers and passengers buckle up before starting a vehicle. The use of seatbelts in motor vehicles saves thousands of lives every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), seatbelts reduce the risk of death by 45% and serious injury by as much as 50% if you get into an accident.
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One man found this out the value of using seatbelts the hard way after he was ejected from his vehicle during a crash and impaled on the branches of an orange tree earlier this month. The Sun-Gazette reports that 62-year-old Ernesto Ruiz of Dinuba was traveling southbound on Avenue 412 in his 2016 Dodge Charger when he lost control of his car.
Ruiz’s vehicle went off the north side of the pavement east of Road 96 and into a grove of orange trees. Because he was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash, Ruiz was partially ejected from the driver’s side window and was impaled on the branch of a mature orange tree.
According to a statement issued by the California Highway Patrol, Ruiz was rushed with significant injuries to Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Vissalia. At the time of the report, Ruiz was listed in critical but stable condition.
Authorities say that the accident is still currently under investigation and have not ruled out speed as a factor in the crash. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the CHP’s Viisallia office at (559) 734-6767.