Seat Belt Saves Fremont Co Woman and Granddaughter

 Victoria Fregoso reports, vfregoso@k2tv.com

 We hear the phrase "seat belts save lives" all of the time. For one Fremont County woman and her granddaughter, they found out why it is true.



 Fremont County resident Charlene Owen was making the drive to Sheridan to celebrate a late Christmas with family.
But as she drove along Interstate 25 in her son's pickup truck on New Year's Day, she came to a hill about 40 miles north of Casper and the roads took a turn for the worse.

"When I came over the hill, there was snow every where and I thought, oh, this is not going to be good."

Charlene was driving at about 73 miles per hour with the cruise control on.
Once she hit the ice, the pickup truck began swerving out of control and flipped four times, eventually landing on it's wheels.
But the one thing that Charlene was most concerned about, was her 2 1/2 year old granddaughter Natalie that was sound asleep in her car seat next to her.

"I don't know what I would have done if she had been hurt. But she was restrained, we both were and I really believe in seat belts."

Which is why the Wyoming Department of Transportation and Injury Prevention Resources gave Charlene the seat belt survivor award.
And as for little Natalie, she was one of the few lucky children that had her car seat properly installed.

"86% of children in Wyoming who are in car seats, the car seat is not properly installed," said DonnaJo Sweet with Injury Prevention Resources.

And even for adults, Charlene is part of the small population that buckles up every time she gets behind the wheel.

"Two years in the past, it was 66% and then last year we had a drop of to 65%."

Even though she was wearing her seat belt, Charlene received cuts, a collapsed lung and two broken ribs.
Today, she is still recovering and says she is more alert and takes her time when driving.
And she leaves us with these words:

"Be sure to wear your seat belt for your family because they will miss you if you are gone."