Fatal crash reminds parents of car safety - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Fatal crash reminds parents of car safety

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 A 7-year-old child died and a five-year-old suffered life threatening injuries after a rollover crash Friday morning.

The South Dakota Highway Patrol said the crash happened on Hwy. 25, south of Scotland, around 9:15 Friday morning.

Highway Patrol said the children were not wearing seat belts when the driver of the vehicle, 28-year-old Stephanie Hamilton of Yankton--went off the road, hit a field approach and rolled.

Both children were thrown from the car.

"It's a huge reminder. It only takes an extra minute, my husband and I have said since this awful accident that we just have to be more diligent about it ourselves because you never know when an innocent mistake can be so tragic," said Katie Rokusek.

She knows the family and has three kids of her own.

"When we go on long trips we are always really diligent about making sure that they are in their car seats and that they are buckled up, but many times we are totally guilty of 'Oh, it's just a quick trip, we're just going to run here,' we'll put them in the seat, but not necessarily make sure that they're buckled," said Rokusek

Rokusek added this wake up call is something that she will learn from.

South Dakota Highway Patrol Trooper Kristoff Dekramer said no matter what, it's important to buckle your kids in.

"Wear them all the time. It doesn't matter if you're going a block down the road or if you're going across country trip. You just need to get in the habit of wearing that seat belt all the time," said Trooper Dekramer.

It isn't just kids who need to be strapped in, they can learn the habit by watching adults.

"As adults and parents we can obviously fasten our child into a seat belt or car seat, but if we turn around and don't buckle in ourselves, what kind of example is that going to be?" said Trooper Dekramer.

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