Seat belt use cited in woman’s rollover accident survival
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Sheriff’s Deputy Dan Vodicka believes the fact Billie Childers, 44, had her seat belt on was key in her survival of a Saturday rollover accident.
Childers told the deputy she didn’t know what happened that caused the 1999 Plymouth Breeze she was driving to leave the road, two miles west of Champion, about 5:20 p.m.
Vodicka said Childers, who was alone in the vehicle, was likely distracted when the accident occurred, but said if she hadn’t been wearing her seat belt, she “wouldn’t have made it.”
Childers was traveling west on the paved county road (734 Rd.) when she veered off to her right, into the ditch on the north.
After hitting an embankment, the vehicle was airborne for about 40 feet, before landing upside down in a pasture.
It required the Imperial Volunteer Fire Department’s jaws of life to free her. She was hanging upside down and bleeding, still strapped in, when emergency responders got to the scene.
Vodicka said she was conscious and talking throughout the ordeal. She was transported to Chase County Community Hospital by Imperial EMS for treatment.
The deputy was uncertain about the extent of her injuries, but said she told him she “hurt all over.”
Also responding to the scene were Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Dan Steinert and Sgt. Rob Browning of the Imperial Police Department.
Vodicka said Childers’ license lists her as an Ogallala resident, but she actually resides in the southwest part of Chase County.