Seat belt saves life of Natchez teen

Published 9:19 am Saturday, June 23, 2007

NATCHEZ — On June 14, Jeremy Waldrop’s life was forever changed.

While driving on U.S 84 from Laurel, Waldrop’s truck tire had a blowout. The sudden loss of air caused his vehicle to veer uncontrollably onto the median where it struck a pole. The impact caused his Ford Ranger to flip at least five times.

“When I landed I was upright,” Waldrop said. “I was conscious but in a lot of pain.”

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A highway patrol officer called in the accident and emergency vehicles were on the scene instantly.

“They cut my seatbelt from around my neck and then had to pull me out with the Jaws of Life,” he said.

Waldrop was airlifted from the scene to Forest General Hospital.

“I had a message on my voice mail that said Jeremy was in an accident,” Jeremy’s father, Jody Waldrop said. “I was scared and afraid he had been killed.”

Jeremy Waldrop spent four hours in surgery so doctors could repair a broken arm.

“My bone was sticking out of my arm,” he said.

A highway patrol officer determined Jeremy’s seatbelt is what saved his life, Jody Waldrop said.

The 18-year-old was driving back to sign papers allowing him to start advanced individual training for the military.

“God put a halt to Jeremy’s plans,” Jody Waldrop said. “Now Jeremy has to figure out what his purpose is.”

Waldrop will resume military training once a physical therapist deems him healthy.

Jody and Jeremy Waldrop both agree that divine intervention and seatbelt use are responsible for saving his life.

“The cab of that car was absolutely crushed,” Jody Waldrop said. “God had a hand on Jeremy that day.”

The accident taught the Waldrops about the importance of life.

“You need to cherish every day you have with your loved ones because you never know when it will be the last,” Jody Waldrop said.

The wreck has also helped the Waldrops put life in perspective.

“You find out the things that are really important,” Jody Waldrop said.

Jeremy went back to the site and found his seatbelt buckle. He keeps as a reminder of the lessons he learned from the wreck.

“Wear your seatbelt all the time because you never know when you will be in a wreck,” Jeremy Waldrop said. “I never thought it would be me.”