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Teen Who Rolled Car 14 Times Wins Award

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An Arlington teenager rolled her car 14 times and lived to tell about it. Because of that, and the work she is dong to save other lives, she is being recognized with a special award.

“I felt my car (go) down the ditch and when I felt that I tried to over correct it to get up on the road, and that sent me directly in to the ditch, and so I rolled six times like head over heel, and eight times side over side,” Vanessa Browns, award recipient explained.

Brown is senior at Sioux Falls Christian. On a November morning in 2009, after her Toyota Celica rolled 14 times, she learned a life lesson that she is trying to teach everyone.

“If I wasn't wearing my seatbelt, I would be easily lying cold in my grave,” said Brown.

Because she was wearing her seatbelt, she walked away from the accident. Her injuries minor, a collapsed lung from screaming, face trauma and a broken collar bone from the seatbelt.

“I was out of the hospital within 48 hours of my wreck,” said Brown.

Sergeant John Pike with the Brookings County Sheriff’s Office was the investigating officer for Brown’s wreck.

"When I pulled up on the scene I knew this was going to be a very serious accident,” said Sgt. John Pike.

Pike said he has seen accidents like Brown’s where people have died from being ejected from their cars.

He said what she is doing to promote seatbelt awareness by telling her story of survival is worthy of the states ‘saved by the belt’ award.

“She was a survivor from a serious accident, and that safety belt was what saved her life,” said Pike.

And knowing how fortunate she is to be able to make plans for her future, Brown said she spreads her message of safety for those who weren’t as lucky as her.

“That little click, it may feel annoying to you, or you just don’t like it, but that thing in time, may save your life,” said Brown.

Brown calls her campaign for safety, ‘love life, buckle up.’ She said her goal is to be able to reach out to more schools around the state to her story and promote safety.


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