Real Stories

"Wearing a seat belt is your best chance of
surviving a traffic crash."

Buckle Up in Memory of Spec. Patrick Welsh

The next time you get into your car or truck and decide, intentionally or unintentionally, not to wear your seat belt, think about how this decision may affect those you love.

Motor vehicle crashes are the number one reason young adults are seriously injured or killed in North Dakota. Traffic crashes are unpredictable, meaning; you never know when it will happen to you.

a mothers storyWearing a seat belt is your best chance of surviving a traffic crash. The few seconds it takes to buckle up may save you and those you love from misery and heartache. Sixteen-year-old Piper Welsh knows too well the repercussions of not wearing a seat belt.

Piper's twenty-four-year-old brother, Specialist Patrick Welsh from Grand Forks, North Dakota, died from injuries suffered in a tragic rollover traffic crash. This occurred just two months after he returned from serving with the North Dakota Army National Guard's 191st Military Police Company in Iraq.

Patrick was driving unrestrained at the time of the rollover. Ejected from the vehicle, Patrick was killed while his girlfriend who was also in the car walked away with minor injuries. She was wearing a seat belt.

Piper had a close bond to her older brother; Patrick was her hero. She decided to use her personal loss to benefit others. Piper spearheaded a campaign to get the word out about the importance of buckling up every time you get into a motor vehicle. Along with her family, she created a decal asking people to buckle up in memory of Patrick.

"Hopefully, people will get the message and wear their seat belts," she said. On the back of the decal is a personal message from Piper which reads, "Please honor Patrick's memory and his service to our country by wearing your seat belt - every trip, every time."

If you would like a Buckle Up in Memory of SPC Patrick Welsh decal, please contact the Safe Communities Coalition of the Northern Valley by phone at 701-780-5939 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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