Lucky to be alive. Two women who survived a crash despite not wearing their seat belts stopped by a metro driver's ed class on Wednesday to share their experience, hoping it will prevent heartache for others.
Rosie Smith and Alicia Jeffres stood in front of a driver education class reliving the horror. "I can't tell you guys enough, how important it is,” said Jeffres. “I can't share with you how hard it was."
After not wearing their seat belts, the two barely survived a wreck last November. The two were passengers in a car with a driver who was speeding on Waverly Road north of Lincoln. They were struck by a drunk driver and then crashed into a power pole. Of the five in their group, no one was wearing a seat belt. The driver, Smith and Jeffres were thrown from the vehicle. The driver died.
Smith and Jeffres were left with injuries that took months to heal. Even then, not everything got back to normal. “At work, I can't stand up for eight hours because of my back now,” said Smith. “Before that, I was in the nursing field and they told me I would never be able to do nursing again because of what the job entails."
Police told the two women that if they'd worn their seat belt, the outcome would have been much less severe. That, along with safe driving in general, was the message they wanted to convey to the class. “It's stupid. It was a really stupid mistake."
For student drivers in the class, many said they got the message. "Really real,” said Tanya Konuhov. “It hits me because this can happen to anyone. No matter who you are, you're not invincible."
“I think it really illustrates the importance of using seat belts, not speeding,” said Andrew Neill.