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Traffic Safety
A Story County Tragedy
At about 1:15 a.m. on September 27, 2002, a motor vehicle crash occurred involving a 1996 Corvette. When it left the factory, the car had 300 horsepower, weighed 3,298 lbs, and was capable of speeds of 175 mph. It was owned by David and Fay Utesch, from Ames, IA.  The car was driven by their son, Ryan Utesch, age 21, without his parents consent or knowledge. Ryan and his girlfriend, Krysia Burnett-Larkins, age 18, drove south on county road R-38 from Ames at a high rate of speed. Near Kelley, Ryan lost control of the Corvette and entered the west ditch. The car flipped end for end before coming to rest on its top near the fence line. Based upon the crash analysis, it was determined that the car was traveling at between 134 and 145 mile per hour at the time of the crash. Ryan was drunk, with a blood alcohol level of .163.

Ryan, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was thrown from the car and found lying about 90 feet from where the vehicle came to rest. Krysia was wearing a seatbelt. She got out of the car and walked to the nearest farm residence for help. Both Ryan and Krysia were taken to Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames. Krysia sustained minor injuries. Ryans injuries were severe, and he died several days later as a result of his injuries. 

This was a preventable crash. Three factors played a part in causing this tragic event.  They are: 

1.         Excessive Speed                    High speeds require much quicker reaction times
2.         Drunk Driving                        Alcohol slows reaction times
3.         No Seatbelt                            Ryan may have survived had he been wearing  his seatbelt. Krysia did.

Ryans parents have generously made the car and presentation available so that others might learn from his mistakes. He didnt think this could happen to him. It did, though. It can happen to you, too. Please obey the speed limit, dont drink and drive, and wear your seatbelt.