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On Saturday, the 18th of July 2023 a devastating car crash occurred on Interstate 90 (I-90) near mile marker 50 in Meade County, South Dakota. The incident claimed the life of a young driver and left the other passenger seriously injured. The collision involved a 2023 Freightliner Cascadio semi-truck and a 2023 Kia Sportage.

It has been reported by the South Dakota Department of Public Safety that the Freightliner semi-truck was been parked on the shoulder of westbound Interstate 90 near mile marker 50 for several minutes before it reentered traffic onto the highway. It has been claimed that the driver of the semi-truck admitted that he was accelerating to speeds of 45-50 miles per hour when tragedy struck. Kia Sportage collided with the rear of the trailer and became trapped beneath it, causing catastrophic damage to the vehicle and to the passenger as well. The whole scenario can be classified as life-threatening incident and a result of irresponsibility and negligence of road safety.

In a tragic turn of events, it was discovered that the Kia Sportage that was involved in the crash was driven by Jayden Hayford, a 16-year-old high school student. Due to the severity of the impact and not wearing a seatbelt Jayden suffered fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the crash site. Despite her traumatic experiences, the other 17-year-old passenger that was present in his car survived the ordeal, although she sustained serious and major injuries. She was rushed to Monument Health in Rapid City for urgent medical attention and unfortunately she was also not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision.The semi-truck driver, Oscar Rodriguez Jr who was aged 54 – fortunately escaped the crash unscathed. His use of a seatbelt likely played a crucial role in protecting him from harm.

In the aftermath of the devastating accident I-90 westbound was closed for approximately two and a half hours. Due to the closure, emergency services were able to clear the scene, conduct investigations, and ensure the safety of all motorists on the road and control the scenario at that time. A crash investigation has been launched by the South Dakota Highway Patrol, an agency that is part of the Department of Public Safety in the state. The information released at this stage, however, should be considered to be preliminary and should be viewed as subject to further investigation in the future, as this was sever case of road crash/accident.

In light of this tragic incident, it is imperative to emphasize the importance of increasing road safety practices, as well as the importance of drivers and passengers wearing seatbelts at all times. When it comes to reducing the risk of severe injuries and fatalities in case of an accident, wearing a seatbelt is one of the most simple and effective ways to do this. Every vehicle occupant should adhere to wearing a seatbelt, as the use of a seatbelt saves lives. It should also be noted that following traffic rules such as signals and not speeding the limit of the vehicle should be considered, as if neglected they can cause severe damage to not only vehicle, but to life as well.

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