Driver crashes while trying to help daughter buckle up

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NORTH SALT LAKE -- Troopers say the driver of a pickup truck crashed Saturday when he tried to help his daughter put her seat belt on.

Troopers say three people were riding in the truck on the Highway 89 collector off Interstate 15 in North Salt Lake around 10:20 a.m. When the driver noticed his daughter wasn't wearing a seat belt and tried to get her to put it on, he accidentally turned his steering wheel and rolled the truck.

Dad states that in an attempt to get his daughter to buckle up, he turned around, which caused the vehicle to drift off to the left.

–Sgt. Matt Smith

The girl was ejected from the vehicle and landed 30 feet away in a fence.

"Dad states that in an attempt to get his daughter to buckle up, he turned around, which caused the vehicle to drift off to the left," said Sgt. Matt Smith with the Utah Highway Patrol.

When the driver quickly turned the other way, the truck rolled over.

"The daughter was actually ejected from the rear-passenger window," Smith said.

The father and his wife, who was in the passenger seat, were wearing their seat belts, but his 13-year old daughter, who was sitting in the back, wasn't. Troopers say the father told them he's been having problems getting his daughter to wear her seat belt and only wanted to keep her safe.

"Interesting situation, one that I haven't encountered yet until today," said Smith.

Troopers say this accident is just another reminder of how important seat belts are.

"Bottom line is that decision needs to be made prior to moving the vehicle and needs to be taken care of at that point as opposed to moving down the road," Smith said.

All three were taken to the hospital -- the daughter with the most serious injuries.

"In an attempt to kind of address the situation, a big lesson has just been taught," said Smith.

UHP has not released the names of those involved in the accident, but say their injuries were not critical. All three are expected to be OK.

Troopers say the family was on their way back home to Tucson, Ariz.



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