Kurtis and Jode Yates
This past July 4th holiday weekend, Nancy Yates, staff assistant to Chief Jim Howell, had real reason to celebrate. While traveling in a heavy downpour to a family campout in Branford, the vehicle carrying Nancy’s daughter, Emily, and her two grandchildren, Jode and Kurtis, hydroplaned off the roadway, rolled over and plowed into a stand of trees upside down.
The Isuzu Trooper was totaled, but fortunately, the family walked away unharmed. How did they get so lucky? It wasn’t luck at all. The family was safe because of their adamant use of seat belts and child restraints. Three year old Kurtis brags about hanging upside down in his car seat “like Spiderman,” and eight year old Jode is proud of how her mom managed to work her way into the backseat to release their seat belts and help them escape through the mangled window frame.
Monday morning, Nancy was back at work compiling the weekend’s fatality statistics for the news media – many involving people who, unfortunately, did not use their seatbelts. She is very glad her family was not a part of those statistics. This event really brought home the message that “seat belts really do save lives!”