In an unfortunate twist of fate, a seat-belt crusading Colorado state senator was involved in a car accident in which three passengers were not wearing seat-belts. On a stretch of highway outside of Amarillo, Texas, the head-on collision sadly cost the pregnant passenger of the other vehicle her life only one day after Christmas.
Known for her outspoken support of seat-belt safety laws, Colorado State Senator Suzanne Williams was driving an SUV in which the passengers were not buckled in, two of whom - ages three and seven - were not in safety seats. Texas law requires children under eight must ride in safety seats.
Sen. Williams' three-year-old grandson and son were thrown from the vehicle. After the accident, Sen. Williams moved her grandson back into his safety seat, rather than wait for emergency personnel. According to Sen. Williams' attorney, she doesn't remember the accident and claims that she was only trying to help her grandson.
During her tenure in the state legislature, Sen. Williams co-sponsored a bill that requires children under eight to be buckled into safety seats. She has also advocated for a change in Colorado seat-belt laws to make not wearing a seat-belt a primary offense.
Currently, to be ticketed for not wearing a seat-belt in Colorado, police need to have another reason to pull the vehicle over, such as speeding or drunk driving. A change from a secondary offense to a primary offense would allow police to pull over a vehicle and write tickets if they spot a driver or passenger not wearing a seat-belt.
As a result of the accident, Sen. Williams could be ticketed for seat-belt and safety seat violations and could face much more serious charges of criminally negligent homicide or manslaughter if she is found to have been driving recklessly or carelessly.
Similar to the situation in which Sen. Williams finds herself, those who are accused of serious violent crimes such as vehicular assault or homicide can face serious consequences and jail time. Often, a driver faces these charges as a result of another action such as drunk driving.
If you have been charged with a traffic violation or more serious crime such as vehicular homicide, speak with an experienced Colorado traffic attorney in your area.