TWINSBURG, Ohio (WJW)-- The crash was so horrific that distraught 911 callers tried not to break down in tears while on the phone with dispatchers around 2:45 p.m. Monday.
“The car just in front of me, just wiped out, it’s totally... I don’t even think anybody’s alive in the car,” said one woman.
The vehicle was traveling on Interstate 480 west in Twinsburg when it suddenly went airborne and then rolled over multiple times before landing in a mangled mess on the side of the highway. The wreckage was so extreme responding firefighters prepared themselves for the worst.
“That car was destroyed. I couldn’t even tell what kind it was,” said Twinsburg Assistant Fire Chief Steven Bosso.
Both firefighters and good Samaritans were stunned to see what happened next. The young driver actually crawled out of a window with only minor injuries.
“He’s got a cut on his hand, that’s it. I think he’s OK. I don’t know how he’s OK, but he’s OK,” said the 911 caller. “I’m not kidding. I can’t believe he’s alive. I don’t know how he’s alive. The back of the car and front of car’s completely gone.”
The Ford Escape was equipped with airbags, but firefighters said they’ve seen fatalities at much lower speeds and it was his seatbelt that absolutely saved his life.
“This 22-year-old is going to live to see another day because he was wearing his seatbelt,” Bosso said.
It’s unclear what caused the accident. The driver reported hearing a loud pop before losing control and rolling over. Incredibly, no other cars were struck or involved in the crash.
Bosso said that’s a good reminder for everyone about the importance of staying alert behind the wheel to move over for safety vehicles.
If anyone ever considers not wearing a seatbelt, he said he hopes they remember this accident, the pictures, and witness accounts, then immediately buckle up.