Seat belt saves life in Surgoinsville wreck

Jeff Bobo • Mar 4, 2009 at 12:00 AM

SURGOINSVILLE — Police believe seat belt use saved a Rogersville woman from serious injury, or worse, when her car ran off the road in Surgoinsville, struck a boulder, and landed on its roof.

Bonnie L. Miller, 53, 140 Beechwood Hills, Rogersville, was driving east on Main Street about 7 a.m. Wednesday when she apparently failed to negotiate a curve near the Stewart’s Landing neighborhood on the west side of town.

The 1990 Honda Accord she was driving ran off the right shoulder, went through a barbed wire fence, and traveled down an embankment.

“She then struck a large boulder head on and overturned and came to rest on her roof about 80 feet from the road facing the roadway,” Surgoinsville Police Chief Jeff Hesoun said. “The driver (Miller) was the lone occupant of the vehicle, and she was wearing a seat belt. It was a very high-impact crash, and had she not been wearing the seat belt she most likely would have been ejected and would have suffered serious injuries if not death.

“This is a testimony that seat belts do save lives.”

Hesoun noted, however, that Miller wasn’t wearing the seat belt properly, which contributed to the minor injuries she suffered.

“She did not have the shoulder portion of the belt on, so she received facial injuries by hitting the steering wheel,” Hesoun said. “At least she was contained within the vehicle.”

Miller was already out of her car by the time police and rescuers arrived. She was transported to Holston Valley Medical Center via Church Hill EMS.

The Surgoinsville Volunteer Fire Department assisted with traffic control, as that section of Main Street had to be closed for almost an hour while the vehicle was being retrieved.

Recommended for You