Saved by the belt: Family shares story of surviving 3-car crash

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Sixteen lives saved by seat belts in four separate crashes – now those involved are being recognized for buckling up.

The Colorado Springs and Fountain Police Departments along with Drive Smart Colorado awarded four adults, 7 children and 5 teens who survived serious car wrecks with very little injury because they did the right thing and were saved by the safety belt.

FOX21 met one family who is still here today because they buckled up.

Late morning on October 20, 2016 Beverly Rodriguez was driving in Fountain with her three kids when they were in a horrific three-car crash which could have ended in tragedy had they forgotten to do one thing.

“It was pretty traumatic,” said Rodriguez. “I had trouble sleeping for a while.”

The impact was so strong the sliding back door of Rodriguez’s van smashed in, coming within three inches of her son’s car seat.

Maile Gray, Executive Director of Drive Smart Colorado said, “In 2016 in Colorado Springs over 60 percent of all of our fatalities on the road were not wearing their seat belt.”

The 10 seconds it takes to properly restrain your child and the two seconds it takes to buckle yourself in, could be the difference between life and death.

Thankfully the Rodriguez family wasn’t hurt but it’s only because they were all wearing their seat belts.

“If I ever forget my seat belt I feel naked without almost. I feel like I’m going to fall out of my car or something.” Rodriguez said, “I don’t know I’m just almost not comfortable without it now.”

This is something she’s also teaching her kids.

“It could have been a lot worse. It was pretty, pretty scary,” said Rodriguez.

Gray said, “We hope that this ceremony will serve as a reminder to our community to always wear your seat belt because seat belts do save lives every single day.”

The officer who responded to the Rodriguez family’s crash is the one who nominated them for the award.

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