In a bizarre tragedy last month, a young woman from Surrey, British Columbia, was killed when her small car collided with a tow truck and her laptop, which was not secured in the back seat, smashed into her head. Police are warning anyone riding in a vehicle to secure all their belongings.
Perhaps the worst part of this tale is that the death of Heather Storey, aged 25, might not have happened had her laptop been secured in her backpack on the back seat of her small car instead of lying freely on the cushion.
She was hit by a tow truck turning left, and investigators have concluded that she would have survived the impact had she had not been struck in the head by her laptop computer.
Storey was enroute to work at the time of the accident and according to her brother, Michael Pratt, usually kept her laptop in a backpack in the backseat. Sgt. Roger Morrow, of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said:
“What we believe happened [was] that she was struck in the back of her head and neck with this laptop computer. She simply didn’t have it secured within the confines of her car, and ultimately it became the instrument of her death. How many people carry a laptop or other products in their car with them? In this day and age, this is a pretty common thing.”
The officer advised drivers to think twice about what they put in their car — in the event of an accident, it could become a weapon.
“We’re hoping people will put things in their trunk or at least in a bag secured by a seat-belt or in their glove compartment.”
Her brother and mother spoke publicly, warning others to take precautions to avoid similar preventable accidents. In the words of Heather’s mother, Marilyn Pratt:
“We miss Heather a lot. There is a whole lot to talk about, but I think mainly we’re just trying to address the issue of, maybe, try not to keep stuff that can get airborne or hit you, just because your family, and people that care about you, really will miss you when you’re gone.”
Heather Storey, 25, was driving to work last March 16 when she had her accident. Her luggage as well as her laptop were unsecured in her back seat and the vehicle’s abrupt stop sent the computer flying into the back of her head. The force of the blow was so severe that it shattered the computer’s screen and bent the frame. She died, according to the coroner, as a result of blunt force trauma.
Do you drive with unsecured belongings in the backseat?
A better question might be:
Will you continue to do so after reading this?