UPDATE: Saturday traffic fatality near Rutledge claims one life, leaves driver injured

Published 11:29 am Sunday, March 12, 2023

A single-vehicle crash in Crenshaw County claimed the life of a Lowndes County resident, Theron L. Marsh, 45, and left another, Lavern G. Shatteen, 37,  injured Saturday evening.

Marsh, a Fort Deposit resident, died of injuries he sustained in the crash which occurred at approximately 10 p.m. on Alabama Highway 10 near West Robinson Road, approximately four miles west of Rutledge. 

According to Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA)  Sergeant Jeremy Burkett, Marsh was riding as a passenger and sustained  fatal injuries when the 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe driven by Shatteen, also of Fort Deposit, left the roadway and overturned.

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“Marsh was not using a seat belt at the time of the crash and was ejected and pronounced deceased at the scene,” Burkett said. “Shatteen was injured and transported to Baptist South [in Montgomery] for medical treatment.”

Nothing further is available as Troopers with ALEA’s Highway Patrol Division continue to investigate the crash.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), passengers accounted for 62% of traffic fatalities nationwide in 2019. IIHS research indicates that using a lap and shoulder belt reduces the risk of fatal injury to drivers and passengers 60% in an SUV, van, or pickup, and by 45% in a car.

In a January press release, ALEA’s Secretary Hal Taylor noted the importance of passengers using a seat belt. This article will be updated as new information becomes available.

“Passengers have the ability to keep themselves safe, and it begins with always making the decision to buckle up,” Taylor said. “Seat belts save lives.”

Taylor noted that countless lives have been lost in traffic crashes, due to noncompliance with seat belt laws. Many of these deaths were preventable, he explained.