Osawatomie Teens Thankful For Seat Belts

By Jeff Gulley

Brandon Oakes doesn’t remember how many times the 1999 Dodge Durango rolled over but when the vehicle finally came to a stop on the snow-covered embankment, he remembered the last thing his mother said before he left, a reminder to fasten his seat belt.

Oakes and his two passengers can likely thank their seat belts for saving their lives when a deer in the road caused the rollover accident on Jan. 25. The three teens walked away from the type of wreck that could have had fatal consequences if they had not chosen to fasten their seat belts.

“My mom always tells me to make sure I wear my seat belt,” Oakes said. “When I left her in Spring Hill, she reminded us again to wear our seat belt. I’m glad I did. The officer at the wreck said it probably saved our lives.”

Oakes realizes how close he and his two passengers came to tragedy. He remembers being upside down when the car came to a stop. He unbuckled his seat belt and made sure his two 15-year-old passengers, including his cousin, were okay. Then the three teens walked up the hill toward the highway where Brandon called his mother and then the next person he could think of, his basketball coach Darren Soucie.

“My mom was really calm when I talked to her,” Brandon said. “I was surprised.”

According to the numbers from the Center For Disease Control and Prevention, teenage drivers have the lowest rate of seat belt use among all age groups.

Oakes said he thinks teenagers have the idea that nothing bad is going to happen to them.

“Some teenagers think seat belts are for wimps,” he said. “They don’t think anything can happen to them. But anything can happen at any moment.”

He credits friends and parents also for stressing seat belt use. He talked about the father of one friend who always checks on them when they leave in a car.

Brandon’s mom, Marla Berry, said she is thankful he listened to her pleas for him to be safe.

“I am just thankful he used his seat belt,” she said. “This could have turned out really bad.”

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Posted by admin on Feb 23 2011. Filed under News and Updates. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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