CENTRAL--Union Mills * Westminster * Sandymount * Finksburg

March 23, 1993

Accident survivor credits seat belt

A 28-year-old Westminster man who climbed out of his overturned car uninjured yesterday said his seat belt "made a believer out of me."

Jay Benge, of the 3000 block of Old Washington Road, said he was using his seat belt for the first time in more than a year when the accident occurred.

Mr. Benge said he was driving east on Brehm Road near Old Manchester Road about 10:15 a.m. when an approaching three-wheel all-terrain vehicle, or ATV, forced him to veer to the right to avoid a collision. His 1977 Ford Granada climbed a snow bank and slowly rolled over onto its top, crushing the roof.

He said the driver of the ATV "had the front wheel right on the double yellow line and was looking back behind him like he was looking for another three-wheeler."

Mr. Benge, who said he has always believed he had a right to choose whether to use a safety belt or not, vowed never to drive or even ride in a car again without first buckling up.

The driver of the three-wheeler did not stop, Mr. Benge said.


* Westminster: Units from the Westminster and Reese fire companies responded for an alarm sounding in a building on Memorial Avenue at 12:36 p.m. Sunday. They were out for 30 minutes.

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