Car Crash Victim Says Seat Belt Saved Her Life

Saturday, May 21st 2016, 10:45 pm
By: News 9

Her car flipped several times, flew across lanes of oncoming traffic and was hit by a greyhound bus.

Laswanique Gray is alive because she was wearing her seat belt. 

Twenty-two pinwheels twirled in the wind out on the front lawn of The Children’s Center in Bethany, something the little lives they represent won't ever get to do again.

The pinwheels and more than 200 blue and white signs represent people who were not wearing seat belts and died in traffic accidents. 

"Those were children who were killed. Twenty-two of them,” Oklahoma Highway Patrol Chief Rick Adams said. “Lives lost that they're families will never get the chance to see them again. It was the simple act of clicking a seat belt or putting them into a child restraint that could have saved their lives."

In 2014, 260 Oklahomans died because they weren't restrained, and 104 were ejected from their vehicle. Gray was almost one of them, but one quick, simple habit kept that from happening.

"My car rolled several times. I closed my eyes when I saw I was about to roll, and when I opened my eyes it was over,” she said. “I was upside down, but my seat belt had locked me in tight. I did not move."

She was paralyzed with shock. It all happened so quickly. Closing her eyes as her seat belt saved what could have been lost in the blink of an eye.

"I lost control of my car. My car spun out. It rolled across the median and onto oncoming eastbound traffic, and a greyhound bus hit my car and knocked it back to the median,” Gray said. 

She was driving it home from college to see her mother when the accident happened.

"I planned her a big surprise party,” Gray said. “So I left school about a day early."

With their birthdays days apart, they now celebrate not only another year but survival; a reminder of just how fragile life can be.

"They couldn't believe I was alive. The EMS couldn't believe I was alive. The doctors couldn't believe it, either,” Gray said. "It takes 0.2 seconds to buckle your seat belt." 

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said they enforce seat belt use year round but especially right before the Memorial Day weekend.