Buffalo Grove police honored its Saved by the Belt award winner — the O’Connor family of Milwaukee — this week at its village board meeting.

The award, which is promoted by the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Safety Programs and Engineering, was created to increase awareness of the lifesaving value of safety belts and car seats.

At approximately 10:50 p.m. on Dec. 3, 2016, Kathleen O’Connor was driving her vehicle westbound on Deerfield Parkway near Buffalo Grove Road with 3-year-old Agatha in the backseat on the passenger side of the vehicle. While stopped in the left turn lane at the intersection, the O’Connors’ vehicle was rear-ended by another vehicle traveling westbound on Deerfield Parkway.

According to the police department, the other driver said he fell asleep behind the wheel.

If Agatha had not been secured in a properly fitted and installed car seat, police said, she could have suffered a serious injury. The graphic photos of the vehicle confirmed police’s assessment.

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