Seat belts saved lives on Friday

Published 9:43 am Monday, February 19, 2007

I witnessed something Friday afternoon that I never had before and hope never to see again.

My husband Bill and I left Natchez headed east on U.S. 84. After we had been traveling for about 20 minutes I glanced over to the opposite side of the four lane and saw a SUV begin to run off of the road. The vehicle continued down into the median and began to come up on our side of the road.

At this point the SUV flipped over, landing upright in our lane of traffic. Had we been just five seconds earlier we would have been involved in the accident instead of observing it. Bill was able to slow down and then move to the right shoulder of the road and stop. He immediately jumped out and began running to the wrecked vehicle while I got on my cell phone and called 911.

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Children were in the car and I was terrified of what we were going to see. What I did see was an absolute miracle!

The three children, their mom and dad were all able to climb out of the vehicle and suffered only minor bumps and scratches. They were visibly upset and there were many tears, but they were all fine. Why? I believe there are two reasons.

First and foremost God was in control and He protected the occupants of the SUV along with Bill and I. We have made it a habit to begin each trip we take with prayer and I had just finished praying for safety and protection.

Secondly, all five of them were correctly belted into their seats by their seat belts!

We should all refuse to start our vehicles until all occupants are securely buckled in! My children, my nieces, and all of their friends will tell you that I have preached to them for years about wearing seat belts.

I had the head knowledge that they were important and needed to be used. Now I have the experience of seeing that knowledge in action, and believe me, I will never forget it!

In just a split second your “safe” trip right down the road, or just to the store, or where ever, can turn into a tragic accident.

It is hard to stay firm when babies and toddlers are crying to get out of that car seat and when your older children are sleepy and just want to lay down on the seat.

Next time you have to listen to them cry or complain I hope you will remember reading this and think about this family who walked away from a horrible accident and then buckle them in, just before you buckle yourself in!

Martha Salters is a Natchez resident.