Traffic-Related Deaths Up In August

By: Jacki Ochoa Email
By: Jacki Ochoa Email

A deadly crash can be gruesome, and sometimes, even preventable.

According to the Nebraska Department of Roads, in August, 26 people died on Nebraska roads. These accidents include pedestrians and motorcyclists, but of the 18 that were in cars, 17 were not wearing seat belts.

"You just have to be seat belted," Matthew Anderson said. "That is so preventable, because once you go outside the vehicle, your body will not stand up to the forces."

Anderson is a father, former paramedic, and friend of one of the 26 people who died. "Why did the accidents happen?" Anderson said. "Why did we have an up-tick in the number of deaths?"

Anderson's friend, Ashland Police officer Daniel Ottis died on Highway 6, just outside Gretna. "I was devastated," Anderson said. "It was absolutely like someone had taken a part of your heart out."

His friend, someone's father, another's mentor, will never be thought of as a statistic. "It was really beyond comprehension," Anderson said. "This is the kind of thing that happens to other people and here again, it happens to someone you know and it was just hard to take."

Anderson showed us the shirts he makes and sells. So far, 70 people continue to carry on Ottis' memory. "I think Dan would have probably said that this is a bunch of to do about nothing," Anderson said. "But we wanted to show our love and support. Not only to the community but to his family."

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