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Early Tuesday morning in Copiague, a Babylon man lost control of his pickup truck. He was driving drunk and crashed into a pole. As a result of the impact, he and his two passengers were ejected from the vehicle. According to the Patch, Elmer Santos-Cardoza, age 24, was driving a 1999 Dodge pickup truck on Sunrise Highway, east of Great Neck Road. The other two passengers were Melvin Mansonarez, age 20 and Jose Sanataria, age 20, also of Babylon.
The driver and Mansonarez suffered non-life threatening injuries and were taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip for treatment. However, after ejection, Sanataria was hit by a 42-year old driver of a 2008 Toyota Camry. He was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital to receive treatment for serious injuries.
Considering it is likely that none of the passengers were wearing seatbelts, they were fortunate that the ejection didn’t cause greater injuries. Statistics indicate that one in every five occupants thrown from a car dies from fatal injuries (University of Michigan study) In fact, ejected occupants have a fatal injury rate that is 40 times the rate for occupants not ejected from their cars. Typically, wearing seat belts prevent ejection. Being thrown from a car gives no advantage for surviving. Also, statistics don’t support the idea that wearing safety belts increases fatality risks from vehicle fires or submersion under water accidents.
To avoid accidents, don’t drink and drive, and always wear your seat belt. If you are a victim of an accident that is not your fault and your injuries are serious, a lawyer may be able to help you recover compensation to offset medical expenses.