Charlene Owen and her granddaughter, Natalie Kora Owen of Casper, were driving toward Casper on Jan. 1 when Owen’s 2008 Ford Ranger pickup rolled four times and landed upright on its wheels at milepost 231 on I-25 north of Casper near Midwest.
“We were traveling 73 miles per hour with the cruise control on,” Owen remembers. “We hit black ice going up a hill. The vehicle went into the barrow ditch and rolled four times.”
Owen was wearing her seatbelt, and her granddaughter was properly restrained in her car seat.
Owen received numerous injuries, including cuts, a collapsed lung and two broken ribs. Her granddaughter received scrapes from the seatbelt and a cut from the broken glass.
“I’m still healing from the crash,” Owen says.
They are alive and well today because they were properly buckled up in seatbelts.
Owen wears her seatbelt every time she rides or drives in a vehicle. “I once had someone pull out in front of me, and wearing a seatbelt allowed me to swerve and maintain control of the car,” Owen says.
Today, Owen says she drives 5 miles per hour below the speed limit, and she is hesitant about using her vehicle’s cruise control feature while driving.
She encourages other drivers to “watch hills and shaded areas while driving. Watch overpasses for ice, and slow down before you get to snow. I have always been a little smug about crashes, but now I realize that anybody can be in a crash.”
And, she adds, “You better make sure you have your seatbelt fastened.”