Use a seat belt to keep moving forward

June 26, 2017

In recent days, the Cape Gazette published the story of Kyle David, a young man sleeping in the back seat of his Jeep as a friend drove home from Baltimore.

The Jeep was involved in a crash, flipping several times, leaving him with a severe spinal cord injury.

Kyle, 21, survived the tragic crash. He is recovering, slowly learning all over again how to use his arms and legs. Read his story online.

Then came the story of Shannon Lord, Sussex Tech's all-state catcher, a tough athlete who, like Kyle, was in the back seat when the car she was riding in crashed, leaving her with a spinal cord injury. She also spends long hours in rehab, working to regain use of her legs.

As Sports Editor Emeritus Dave Frederick reported in his interview with Shannon, it's hard to call someone who has suffered a terrible injury lucky.

Yet, unlike Kyle and Shannon, Cody Hopkins, also involved in a crash, was not so lucky. His mother told friends on Facebook he was thrown out of his truck, which rolled many times. Cody, 24, did not survive the crash.

Three lives, dramatically changed, each time in an instant. Would the outcome have been different had these bright, engaging, young people used their seat belts?

We really don't know.

But Shannon has an opinion to share. "With my story, I want to send a message - that seat belts need to be worn, if you are in the front seat or the back, because you never know what might happen."

As our roads become ever more congested - July 4 holiday is the busiest travel time of our Cape Region year - traveling by car or truck is the most dangerous thing most of us do each day. The least we can do is give ourselves a fighting chance.

Heed Shannon's message. Wear a seat belt, no matter where you are sitting.

A remarkably upbeat Shannon also has this to share: "Keep moving forward, because like a golf ball, the more dents you have, the farther you will go! #designtogofar #keeprowing."


  • Cape Gazette editorials are considered and written by members of the Cape Gazette editorial board which includes Dennis Forney, publisher; Trish Vernon, editor; Dave Frederick, sports editor emeritus; Laura Ritter, news editor; Jen Ellingsworth, associate editor; and Nick Roth, sports editor.

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