Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Seatbelt keeps ‘close call’ from becoming tragedy

The remnants of the vehicle belonging to Rex Jones, 21st Space Wing Equal Opportunity, following a head-on collision that occurred in Colorado Springs Nov. 5. Although Mr. Jones was parked at the time of the accident, he was still wearing his seatbelt which kept him from sustaining serious injuries. (Air Force photo by Rex Jones) 

The remnants of the vehicle belonging to Rex Jones, 21st Space Wing Equal Opportunity, following a head-on collision that occurred in Colorado Springs Nov. 5. Although Mr. Jones was parked at the time of the accident, he was still wearing his seatbelt which kept him from sustaining serious injuries. (Air Force photo by Rex Jones)

Commentary by Rex Jones

21st Space Wing Equal Opportunity

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Nov. 5 started out like any other Thursday. However, everything changed while I was taking my dog to a veterinarian appointment.

At the corner of Stetson Hills Boulevard and Tutt Boulevard, sitting at a red light, my vehicle was struck when a driver lost control of his vehicle after allegedly having a seizure. He uncontrollably floored the accelerator and slammed into my vehicle head-on. The force of the impact was so great that my vehicle was lifted up over the center median strip and spun 180 degrees, only to be hit again from behind.

Immediately, bystanders came to our aid to ensure everyone was stable until the emergency teams arrived. Although I was transported to the hospital, I was able to return home that evening, shaken from the incident, but not seriously injured.

There is no doubt in my mind, or in the minds of those who witnessed the accident, that my seatbelt and airbag ensured the injuries were not more severe.

I have always been a huge proponent of wearing seatbelts — mostly because of the impression left by individuals who have had the opportunity to share their “close calls.” Now, I have my own personal testimony to pass on.

We speak so often of driving safety that we may forget that accidents involving parked vehicles can also occur. My car was totaled and I wasn’t even moving. We don’t know when an accident will take place, so it’s important to take preventive measures before the situation becomes risky.

There are many who simply aren’t able to share their story of survival because they chose not to protect themselves by wearing their seatbelts.

In Fiscal Year 2009, six Air Force members lost their lives because they were not wearing a seatbelt. Two members lost their lives because they rode their motorcycle without a helmet. Don’t be one of them. Remember to drive safe, sober, and secure.

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