Seatbelt Saves Her Life
Reprinted from the Glen Ullin Times, with permission


On July 21, 2005, at 7:13 am, a young lady was traveling east on I-94 heading to Bismarck to pick up her nephew for the weekend. Her name is Kylee Bittner and she wants to let everyone know her story and how a simple thing like buckling her seatbelt saved her life…


She fell asleep a short distance from the Sweet Briar exit. Her car was going left heading for the median, when her wheels on the passenger side of the car were going across the rumble strips which woke her up. She tried to correct herself by turning the wheel to the right, which brought her back up onto the highway. Trying to straighten the wheels out didn’t work. They seemed to be locked. She knew she was heading into the ditch on the right and went up over the hill. At the top of the hill is where she rolled the car an estimated three times. Her car spun and hit two wooden fence posts and came to a stop facing northwest.


Kerry does not remember rolling but when the car stopped right side up, with the engine still running, she remembers turning it off. She remembers that she had to get out of the car. She tried to open the door thinking it was locked. She pulled up the lock, but it was stuck, so she hurried and crawled out the driver’s window. She was dizzy when she got out but she had to get help. She started running for the highway. When she reached the top of the hill, she saw a car parked on the side of the road and another car pulling over. She started yelling for help, screaming, “I need help. There was an accident. Call 911,” while waving her arms for help. She saw someone was calling 911. Then she ran to the other car and found out he was from Glen Ullin, as was she, and she knew him – Brad Kilde. He took her into his car, tried to calm her down and let her use his cell phone so she could call her mom.


It only took a few minutes for the highway patrol to arrive at the accident scene. After the call to her mother, she looked herself over finding only a few little scrapes and cuts. She only had one deep scratch on her left arm. She was so terrified and in shock. All she wanted was to see her mom and when she saw her coming up the highway, she knew then everything was going to be okay, although it seemed like forever until she got there.

The first question asked by the Highway Patrolman was “Were you wearing your seatbelt?” “Yes,” Kylee replied. The Highway Patrolman and Kylee were talking and he told her if she wouldn’t have had her seatbelt on, he didn’t know if she would be here right now. Talking about that scared her and she was thankful that she believes in wearing her seatbelt and for everything she had. She was so happy she had her life because she couldn’t imagine being gone. That scares her every time she thinks about the accident and the results that could have been. She keeps thinking what if she didn’t wear her seatbelt, and realizes that the seatbelt is what saved her life and she thanks God for that.


Here are some personal thoughts from Kylee about her car accident and life:


When I got out of that car, I was just so thankful that I had my legs, fingers, arms. I had my body, I had my life. I always took everything for granted, wanting every little thing. I knew I wasn’t going to have a car after this but I know I have my life. I am very thankful for that. I know I had people watching over me and making sure I was going to be okay. Falling asleep each night, right now, is hard for me to do because every time I close my eyes I have flashbacks of the accident. Waking up every day from now on is so amazing just thanking God that I have my life. This accident is the scariest thing that ever happened in my life. I would just like to ask everyone to please “wear your seatbelt” because it saved my life and it could save yours, too. I would also like to thank my family, my friends, and God for always watching over me and being there. You all mean so much to me and I love you all. God Bless All of You!


~ Kylee Bittner