SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — On New Year’s Day 2018, 30-year-old Conrad Thiel of Taylor lost his life in a crash along Davis Street in Scranton.
His family says he died because of one simple mistake: He didn’t buckle his seatbelt. Now his friends, family and PennDOT unveiled a sign reminding drivers to buckle up.
I requested the sign because my brother was not wearing his seatbelt when he died on January 1st of 2018, New Year’s Eve night and I know 100 percent my brother would still be here if he wore his seatbelt. He was thirty seconds from home too. He lived in Taylor, right over the bridge. He was the life of the party. He got along with anybody, loved country music, loved to hang out with his friends,” Thiel’s sister, Stephanie Thiel, said. “I just want people to be aware that it takes two seconds, two seconds of your time to put your seat belt on and it can save your life. I know he’d still be here! I’m 100 percent positive that he would still be here if he wore his seat belt. He was just full of life and his life was cut too short.”
“I was Conrad’s best friend! I made him the godfather of my daughter back in September. It gives me a lot of happiness to know that he’s got a sign up for him to make people aware of buckling up and being safe on the road,” said Thiel’s friend Bernard Topa, Jr. said.
“Well if you can save one life with the sign, it makes people pay attention to the message. The message is to wear your seat belt all the time,” PennDOT safety press officer Mike Taluto, said.
“Stuff like this, what we’re doing here is a good reminder. Wear your seat belt, wear your seat belt,” Thiel said.
PennDOT encourages people to not drive distracted or drunk over the New Year’s holiday.