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Man dies after crashing classic car without seat belts

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A Wilmington man is dead after crashing his classic car Sunday.

Wilmington Police says William Samuel White, 60, of Wilmington was driving his 1955 Morgan convertible north on South 3rd Street from Carolina Beach Road when he crossed the center line and hit another car. The antique car does not have seat belts, and police say he died on impact. They are not sure why he cross the center line. White's passenger, Abby Star Cottle, 21, also from Wilmington, was taken to the hospital with critical injuries.

The driver and passenger in the other vehicle were treated and released from the hospital. Police say seat belts and airbags in their 2008 Kia Spectra worked as they were supposed to.

The crash investigation continues.

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Here are some answers for you

A 1955 Morgan is a classic British sports car with a fairly high market value/desireability for collectors and enthusiasts. The manufacturing of this automobile took place in Great Britain in 1955 and does not comply with current ride height, seat belt, emissions or bumper impact guidelines currently in force. Even some of the frame components of the Morgan are constructed of oak.

The lack of these safety attributes are no different than a 1955 Ford, Chevy, Dodge or Studebaker. WE (the Unites States) didn't have them or enforce them in 1955 either. Seat belts (the lap type) were considered "options" up into the late 60s, the 3-point harness wasn't common until the late 70's. Compulsory "fitting" of seat belts was mandated to U.S. manufacturers in 1974. Compulsory "use" of seat belts in the U.S. by vehicle operators was mandated in 1984.

Even today, with multiple air bags, multiple point restraints, designed crush zones and the like will not save the driver or passengers in extreme conditions of an accident.

Sh*t happens, Okay?

Morgan cars

Just to make a few things clear regarding Morgan cars. The actual chassis is an all steel frame with welded cross members. The body is a coach built structure using seasoned english ash, not oak. The body panels are nailed to the wood. This is the same structue type as all vintage British and early American cars. Morgans to this day still use the same construction methods on some models and Morgan owners wouldn't want it any other way. They are a loyal and steadfast bunch of Morgan afficianados. The front suspension on all Morgans is a sliding pillar design which was designed in 1909 and refinrd over the years. This particular Morgan was totally restored in 2005 and had all new body and mechanical components either rebuilt or replaced. It was a show winner and had a prominant history. How do I know all this? I was the person who restored the car and sold it to Sam white. I am extremely saddened about Sam's death and the demise of the Morgan. Sam was a member of our local club, The british Motor Club of the Cape Fear, and our prayers go out to Sam and all his friends and family.

Question

How did he license the car without seat belts? Aren't they required in NC? Sounds like he was a fine person, but perhaps this could have been avoided if he had been using a seat belt.

Classic cars

On some classic cars seat belts were not an option or even thought of at that time. Much like you don't have to have turn signals on a motorcycle.

Cars manufactured

prior to seat belt regulations are grandfathered and are not required to have them.

I saw this and I saw the man

I saw this and I saw the man lying there hanging out of his car. I said a little prayer. I guess God has his reasons for answering prayers the way he does. May this man rest in peace and peace be with his family during this holiday season.

God?

I really don't think God was invovled in any way in this accident. Carelessness, perhaps. But God? No.

God

God is all knowing. According to Job 14:5, our days are determined prior to our arrival on Earth. God has his hands in all, even though we as humans do not always agree to His reasoning at times.

lol no

lol no

i saw the accident and

i saw the accident and looked so bad ran chills up my back. looked like a head on hit by the antique car.

The man who died was Sam

The man who died was Sam White. He was a great neighbor and will be missed.

Sam White

Is this the Sam White that worked at Belk Beery years ago?

Sam White

If this is the man I knew from another state and another life, he was indeed a fine individual. It seems like the good guys go way too soon.