Crash victim credits seat belt for survival
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. —
The Nebraska State Patrol is stepping up enforcement for Memorial Day weekend after what has been a deadly month on Nebraska roads.
Fatal crashes are up 64 percent from normal this time of year.
Jamie Hakinson can laugh about it now, but her commute to college got off to a bad start on a day she won't forget - Friday the 13th.
She admits to being on the phone, not texting but calling her dad.
"I heard a weird noise and I was on the phone with my dad and so I was telling him I was going to pull off the side of the road and when I did, I hit a soft spot in the grass and flipped my car in the ditch," Jamie said.
Her dad heard the crash, but Jamie's parents knew she'd be OK because she always buckles up.
"I'm very thankful my car had the safety feature where it would beep if I don't have my seat belt on because that saved my life," Jamie said.
Unfortunately, it's been a deadly month on Nebraska roads.
19 fatalities is far higher than normal.
The majority killed were not wearing their seatbelts.
Jamie's parents have had four teen drivers in recent years, and are thankful their youngest escaped serious injury.
"To be able to embrace her with a hug and a verbal 'I love you' when she got in the door at home meant the world to me," said Carol Hakinson, Jamie's mother.
Jamie suffered minor injuries.
"Just a little sore in my back, and a mark on my neck from the seat belt," Jamie said.
She celebrates her 20th birthday this weekend with a new car.
"I got my dream car out of it," Jamie said.
It's the car she wanted, but not how she wanted to get it.
Whatever she drives, there's one thing she won't forget.
"Wear your seat belt because it definitely saves lives," Jamie said.