Katie Cashman-Fitzsimmons of Bismarck recalls the day in 2005 where a seat belt saved her life after she encountered winter weather while driving east on Interstate 94 from Bismarck.
“I got on the road around nine o’clock in the morning, I waited for the sun to come up. The first 100 miles from Bismarck to Jamestown the roads were bone dry. And then as soon as I get east of Jamestown, everything changed. The weather started to change from rain to sleet to snow.”
She decided she would stop just outside of the rest stop outside of Valley City, only she didn’t make it that far.
“As I’m changing lanes, I hit some ice and my SUV starts to spin. I spin off the interstate and I hit the end post of the guard rail, which causes my vehicle to roll in the ditch…. And I come to a stop and I’m hanging upside down and I’m hanging from my seat belt.”
"My windshield wasn't smashed, right around my head, and my seat belt kept me in this bubble, which is pretty important."
It took first responders over two hours to cute Katie out of her vehicle.
“I think about the scene these first responders could have come across had I not been wearing my seat belt – had I not stayed inside that bubble inside my car I don’t know what they would have seen or what they would have found. So, I encourage you to wear your seat belt, I encourage you to thank our first responders and wear your seat belt for them.”
While Katie suffered injuries from her crash, she adds, “I didn’t have a single scratch on my face, I didn’t have any head injuries or any spinal injuries and I don’t think that would have been the case had I not been wearing my seat belt.”