After responding to two fatal accidents over the last several weeks, Italy Police Chief Scott Peters has a message for drivers on the road – buckle up and slow down.

Two major vehicle accidents took place in Italy on Saturday, Dec. 29 and Saturday, Jan. 12 at Interstate Highway 35-East and Farm-to-Market Road 667, respectively.

The first accident resulted in the death of an 11-year-old boy, while the second resulted in the death of 31-year-old Carolina Ramirez and a 6-year-old boy that was riding with her. Both accidents also resulted in multiple other injuries where victims were transported by ambulance or air to Dallas-area hospitals or Baylor Scott & White Medical Center — Waxahachie.

Peters said the roads were in safe conditions in both accidents, noting both cases were caused by a driver’s recklessness.

“Both of them happened during daylight,” Peters said. “The roads were pretty straight, it wasn’t curvy, there was nothing on the roads. Both accidents happened in places you wouldn’t expect.”

Peters said one reason both of these tragic accidents happened was the speed at which drivers were traveling. Peters said he had witnessed the aftermath of both accidents up-close, and he said the damage might not have been so commensurate if drivers were adhering to the speed limit.

“People weren’t paying attention,” Peters stated. “The damage I saw on both of them, speed had something to do with it.”

Another way fatalities could have been avoided was if the passengers had properly buckled up.

“People need to wear seatbelts,” Peters expressed. “If people had seatbelts on, they might have not been quite as tragic.”