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Seatbelts may have prevented deaths of three Boston University students

ROTORUA, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand police say three Boston University students killed last year when their minivan rolled might have survived if they were wearing seatbelts.

According to Fairfax Media, Constable Tina Mitchell-Ellis told a coroner’s court Wednesday that the three who died and a fourth who suffered brain trauma in last May’s accident weren’t wearing belts, while four others who were suffered minor injuries.

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Driver Stephen Houseman last year pleaded guilty to careless driving.

Mitchell-Ellis said Houseman had earlier reminded the others to buckle up. She said he became distracted and drove onto the side of the road before overcorrecting, flipping the van.

Killed were Austin Brashears, of California; Daniela Lekhno, of New Jersey; and Roch Jauberty, of France. Meg Theriault of Massachusetts suffered head injuries.

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