Reportedly, two of the three teenagers were not wearing seatbelts and both were ejected from the vehicle. The seat belted passenger was not ejected. Mr. Kircher and Chelsea Tatman, 18, were both transported to Hamot Medical Center where Ms. Tatman is listed in serious condition. Mr. Kircher is listed as fair. The seat belted passenger was not identified but was reportedly taken to Hamot and has been released.
The fact that neither Mr. Kircher nor Ms. Tatman was wearing a seatbelt in this Erie County car accident is legally meaningless in Pennsylvania. Such information is not admissible in a personal injury trial (if there ever is one) and cannot be considered by the insurance companies who will ultimately be involved in this case. However, I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to wear seatbelts. I have said this here before and will say it again many times. As an Erie car accident lawyer, I have handled more than a thousand (if not thousands) Pennsylvania car accident cases and I have never seen a single car accident in which someone suffered a serious injury because of wearing a seatbelt. However, I have seen many examples of serious injury and death that would have been avoided had the person only worn a seat belt.
My thoughts are with Ms. Tatman and her family and my hopes are for a full and rapid recovery.