Friday, May 20, 2011
The morning of Sunday, April 3, 2011 rose sunny, warm and windy, unusual for Central Missouri in early April. The predicted high was 83 degrees. My friend’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Michaelah, dressed for the weather in shorts and some layered tank tops. She was headed just down the road to the church’s Walk for Life. But no one could predict that her seven-mile trip would have its own life-or-death scenario.
Before she left, she sent one last text message to a friend, said good-bye to her mom and hopped into her sister’s car, alone. Just over a mile into her drive that spring morning, a rabbit darted onto the road. She jerked the wheel to the left to avoid hitting it. In a split second the car was running off the left side of the road, she steered back to the right and overcorrected, then quickly pulled the wheel back to the left, and completely lost control. The car went airborne, hit a sign, then an embankment and then flipped over, coming to rest on its top.
Michaelah was left hanging upside down, held in by her seat belt and, she admits, freaking out. She scrambled to find her cell phone as glass from the shattered windshield rained down onto her face and into her mouth. The phone was on the ceiling of the car along with everything else in the car that wasn’t strapped in. She grabbed it and felt for the redial button. Her friend, thankfully picked up and help was on its way.
She is still recovering from bruises and sprains, but this sixteen year old was most certainly saved by her seat belt. This summer Michaelah will have a job babysitting, go to Florida on a trip earned through her church, enjoy Branson with her family, and feel a little uncomfortable behind the wheel. But, she will never forget to buckle up. Without her seat belt she may not have had a summer at all. In 2010, 438 people who were not wearing seat belts were killed in Missouri traffic crashes.
Buckle Up and ARRIVE ALIVE.