A crash on June 8th, 2015 forever changed the life of Powell resident Joel Johnson and his family.

He was driving to work that morning on Wyoming State Highway 295 when a distracted driver drove through a stop sign at a high rate of speed hitting Johnson’s work pickup.Johnson suffered life threatening injuries and was in a coma for eight days after the crash. After months of recovery and rehabilitation, Joel is here today and credits is seat belt for saving his life that morning.

On October 7th, Joel and his family had the opportunity to share their story and the importance of always buckling up at a high school student assembly in Powell. A graduate of Powell High School himself, Johnson shared a video of his experience with the students and emphasized that wearing a seat belt is your best chance to survive a crash.

Joel was also recognized by the Northwest Wyoming Seat Belt Survivor Program by Regional Safe Communities Coordinator Tom Cunningham. WHP Trooper Blain Mollett, who investigated the crash, was also on hand to recognize Joel for wearing his seat belt and surviving the crash.

Lack of seat belt use continues to be one the major contributing factors in Wyoming highway fatalities for 2015. Johnson’s crash and message show that seat belts do save lives.

Wyoming Highway Patrol