MONTICELLO, Ill. (WICA) — A local family is reminding people how something simple could save a life, or in this case, three lives.
Just months after getting her license, 16-year-old Alyssa Anglin’s driving skills were put to the test. Last Thursday, she was driving south down Deland Monticello Road, with her niece and nephew in the back seat. Out of nowhere, she saw a semi coming around the corner the opposite direction, headed straight toward her.
“I freaked out, and I froze, then I swerved, and then I hit the gravel, and I went into a ditch,” Anglin recalled.
Her car flipped over twice, but her mind was on her niece and nephew.
“I knew that I was fine, but I didn’t know if they were,” explained Anglin. Bystanders were able to get she and the kids out of the car. “I have a concussion, but that’s all,” she said.
Anglin’s sister, Meigan Hamblin, says she had the worst scenario in mind when she found out what happened. “Not only my kids, but my sister was in the car, and when you hear she rolled her car… most typically when you roll something, you’re not in good shape. These three stepped away in really good shape”
Anglin says first responders on the scene told her this story would have ended much differently, had she not buckled herself and her niece and nephew properly.
“The paramedics had that conversation with us, that if she wasn’t responsible, if she wasn’t taking precautions, that they would not be here, or if they were, they would not be in walking shape,” said Hamblin. Pictures of the carseats after the crash show just how protected they were.
“Take that extra two seconds, make sure that they’re tight. Make sure they don’t wiggle, make sure the seat belts are locked, if you have that ability.”
The semi driver drove off after this happened. Investigators are still trying to find out who it was. Anglin’s family is raising money for her to get a new vehicle. You can learn more about their efforts here.
Tips on how to buckle your child in their car seat safely vary depending on their age. You can find a breakdown of each age and a video to accompany that information here.