Benton teen survives wreck while wearing seatbelt

BENTON, MO (KFVS) - A seatbelt campaign makes some car crash survivors thankful for their choices.

April 1st kicks off the "Click It 4 Life" campaign to promote people wearing their seatbelt while on the road.

"My seatbelt probably saved me," said 18-year-old Caleb Ratledge of Benton.

It's a scene you never want to be a part of, but sometimes car wrecks happen.

"Jump the highway, hit the road, and then hit a tree and jumped over the highway, hit another tree, it caught fire," said Ratledge.

Ratledge was in a wreck with three other friends in December 2012.

"It was just different scenes, like I remember on the side and I don't know how I got there, then I remember the police officers showing up and I black out again, my grandparents are there and I black out again, and then I'm in the ambulance headed to the hospital," said Ratledge.

Ratledge has the scars to prove it. He had injuries to his neck, back, and arm.

"I injured my neck cracked it, and if I didn't have the seatbelt on I probably would have broke it completely and it could have cost me my life," said Ratledge.

Ratledge said he didn't used to think much about wearing his seatbelt. Now, it's a priority, and he hopes it can be for others too.

"Make sure you wear your seatbelt, make sure the seatbelt works, or clicks," said Ratledge.

Ratledge said his high school promotes seatbelt use to all the students.

"They still advertise it there on the sign outside our school and our principal is outside making sure everyone wears their seatbelts as their pulling out," said Ratledge.

Ratledge hopes other people can learn from his experience, and wear their seatbelt without going through a wreck first hand.

"I don't want anybody to actually be in an accident to learn the hard way," said Ratledge.

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