BOONE COUNTY, Mo. - A woman who died Monday morning in a crash on westbound I-70 near the Midway exit was not wearing her seat belt, authorities said.
Mary Payne, 50, was identified as the victim in the crash.
Not including Monday's accident, there have been 850 fatal crashes resulting in a fatality in Missouri this year, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation. Seat belts were not worn in 60 percent of those accidents.
Boone County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Brian Leer said the seat belt usage rate in Missouri is lower than the national average. He said Missouri was one of the first states to add a seat belt law, but now is behind in updating those laws.
Missouri is one of 16 states that has a secondary seat belt law, meaning that law enforcement cannot stop someone solely for not wearing their seat belt in a non-commercial vehicle. Even then, the Missouri law does not require people in vehicles with certain registrations to wear seat belts.
Leer said teenagers in Missouri have a 67 percent seat belt usage rate, and 70 percent of teenage vehicle occupants who are killed are not wearing seat belts.