Driver fined $1.9M for using seatbelt as vehicle to escape car in Wisconsin
A man who was using a seatbelt to escape a car in West Virginia has been fined $5.9 million for leaving the vehicle and driving on foot without a seat belt.
The driver of a silver Ford Ranger with an estimated value of $6 million was found guilty on four counts of felony escape.
In a statement, West Virginia Highway Patrol Sgt. James Tippett said the officer stopped the Ranger around 2 a.m. after the driver refused to give up his seat belt and began climbing onto the roof.
Tippet said the Ranger was traveling westbound when the driver climbed onto the vehicle.
He said the driver told the trooper he was going to drive himself to a hospital, but then he told him to “just put the seat belt on.”
Tippette said the trooper responded, “We don’t need a seatbelts on this vehicle.”
Tewksbury Police Chief Mark Coyle said in a statement that the driver “knew he was in trouble” and that “when he climbed onto a vehicle to avoid the officer, the officer did not heed his orders.”
The driver was arrested and released.
Coyle told reporters the case was a “mixed bag” and there were no clear links between the incident and the recent rise in road deaths.