Friday Night Flash: My Scary Lesson About Safety and Seatbelts

Madison Ritchey, Staff Writer

The car finally comes to a stop, and I look around and see my friends getting out. I jiggle my door handle, frantically trying to get out of the vehicle. In complete panic and shock, I crawl through the back, and I’m finally able to breathe again.

It was about 1 am on January 11; it was a late Friday night. My friends and I had just gotten off of work at midnight and were headed to get some food, here in Conway. We were at a stop in the left hand turn lane, with our blinker on. As I look up, I see a white van headed straight toward us, moving too fast to try to avoid them. The next thing I know, we’re spiraling, there’s an airbag in my face, all I see is black and all i can smell is dust and smoke.

Police, fire trucks, and paramedics fill the streets instantly. I look over at the person who hit us. It’s a 22 year old female with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 1.4 which is well over the legal driving limit. She was taken to jail instantly with zero injuries.

My friend crawls back into the car to retrieve all of our phones. In complete shock, I call my dad to come get me. My knees and back hurt, my side is in pain, and there’s blood dripping down my finger. The paramedics come over and clean all of us up and check our vitals. Luckily everyone involved is okay for the most part. The driver, my best friend, walked away with a hurt wrist and a dislocated shoulder, and that’s the worst of it. The police officer explained to us that if our seat belts weren’t on, there’s a 99% chance we would be dead.

After about 30 min of trying to calm down, we said our goodbyes. I climbed in my dad’s truck as we head home. Too shaken up to even shower that night, I laid in bed until 5 am just replaying the incident in my mind.

If you or a friend have been drinking, regardless of how much, please don’t let them or yourself get behind a wheel intoxicated. If you do then you’re putting yourself and other drivers at a high risk of danger. On a side note, every time you get into a vehicle put on your seat belt first thing; you never know how much you’ll need it, and in cases like mine, it could just save your life.