Elderly Driver Killed in LaGrande, OR Crash NOT Wearing Seatbelt
Oregon State Patrol officials and Union and Grant County Sheriffs say the 87-year old victim died at the scene.
Shortly after 9pm Monday, a 1999 Ford Crown Victoria driven by Lucille Swarthout from Mt. Vernon was Southbound on Route 203 just South of LaGrande when it left the road and rolled. According to Oregon State Patrol troopers, she was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected. She was found next to the vehicle, which came to a rest on it's wheels.
Why the car left the road is still unknown, officials also say the airbags in the vehicle failed to deploy. While officials did not say if wearing safety restraints would have saved Swarthout's life, they did think she would not have been ejected from the car if she had.
The investigation continues. Officials stress the need for wearing your seatbelt, as this is the latest in several fatal crashes in WA and OR this year where the driver was not properly restrained, and not wearing their seatbelt probably led directly to their death.