Teen forgets seat belt and crashes SUV - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Teen forgets seat belt and crashes SUV

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July 4, 2003

Whigham - A south Georgia teen learns a lesson the hard way. She wasn't wearing her seat belt when she lost control of her SUV around a sharp curve. She was hospitalized for two weeks and now wants to share her story, so others can learn from her mistake.

Ashley Bowen will spend the next three weeks in a hospital bed. She says, "I was concious the whole time."

The 18-year-old lost control of her SUV on a sharp 45 MPH curve on Old 179 in Whigham, only a few miles from home. She remembers, "I went off the side of the road and nose dived down and that's when my car flipped for the first time and I was ejected."

The glass to the sun roof popped out on impact. Ashley was thrown through the opening, landing on the ground with no scratches. She says, "I was on the ground and could still hear my vehicle turning in the background."  Minutes later, help was on its way. She sighs, "I thought I was going to die."

Ashley was not wearing her seat belt. Her mother, Anetta Bowen, explains, "It's a rare occasion that she didn't snap up and this is what happened."

Ashley had to undergo surgery on her pelvic and back. Mrs. Bowen says, "It could have been awful. Even the deputy, the two that arrived, when they saw the vehicle they were expecting to not to find someone alive. It's really a blessing I still have my child with me. I'm so thankful, so thankful."

A lesson learned the hard way. Ashley says, "You should wear your seat belt. You should definetly wear your seat belt."

The teen is now going through physical therapy, ironically a career she was thinking about for herself before the accident.

Ashley graduated from Cairo High School in May. She had to cancel summer college classes and is not sure if she wants to start in the fall or take some time off.

posted at 4:00PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com