Wetumpka family advocates for seatbelt safety after son dies in crash

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 5:36 PM CST
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WETUMPKA, Ala. (WSFA) - Amid the busiest travel season of the year, a Wetumpka family is reminding drivers about the importance of wearing a seatbelt after losing their son in a crash.

The day after Thanksgiving, 32-year-old Alex Cumbie was driving home after a night out with friends on Central Plank Road when his truck left the road and struck several trees. Alex’s family says it was a foggy and wet night, and he was not wearing a seatbelt. He was ejected from the vehicle.

“One of the things that we still struggle with is that we don’t know if this would have been a different outcome had he been wearing a seatbelt,” said Alex’s stepmother, Angela Cumbie.

The family does not know what caused the accident, or if wearing a seatbelt would have saved Alex’s life, but they do believe it would have lessened his injuries. They said it’s “one thing they wouldn’t have to wonder about.”

“Alex had some pretty severe injuries,” said his father, Wayne Cumbie. “We believe that had he been wearing a seat belt that he would not have been ejected from the vehicle.”

Alex was driving a 1997 Ford F-450, a vehicle he considered virtually indestructible.

“I think he thought he was invincible in that tank,” Wayne Cumbie said. “There were no soft spots in that truck to comfort him. The airbags weren’t there. As strong and robust as that truck was, that didn’t help him.”

Crash reports from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency show 243 people who were not wearing seat belts died in traffic accidents in 2022.

“Please buckle up. If not for yourself, then for those that you love because you don’t want to leave this world and have your loved ones with that doubt that if they had been buckled up, they’d still be here. You don’t want that to be what they are left with,” Angela Cumbie said.

Alex was a passionate landscaper and loving father to his 8-year-old son, Silas. He had just started a new job at the Elmore County Landfill. His family said he was just beginning a new start on life.

“I want people to know that my son had really understood the importance of the church and Jesus Christ in his life,” Wayne Cumbie said.

Alex was laid to rest this past weekend. His family says hundreds of people attended his funeral.

He leaves behind his son, who also recently lost both of his grandmothers – one of which was his primary caregiver.

If you would like to help this family during this difficult time, and help Silas with his future needs, you can donate here.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated to change the number of seatbelt deaths from 543 to 243. There have been 543 total traffic deaths with 243 occurring when seat belts were not in use, according to ALEA.

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