Bethany Benson was a 22-year-old college student, working on becoming a teacher. But while her boyfriend was driving them home one evening, Bethany did something many passengers do during a long drive. And her life has been forever altered because of that one simple act .
The couple had gone to visit Bethany’s mom, who lived several hours away. They were headed home, and Bethany decided to take a nap since her boyfriend was driving. So, she reclined the passenger seat a bit, propped her feet up on the dashboard and dozed off.
The crash triggered the airbags — exactly what is supposed to happen in a collision like this. But because Bethany’s feet were up on the dash, the impact was far more detrimental than beneficial.
Airbags deploy at close to 200 mph — roughly the speed of a Formula One race car. The impact hit Bethany’s hamstrings, pushing her knees into her face. The extreme force broke her nose, as well as her left eye socket and cheek bone, and also dislocated her jaw. And that was just the damage done to her face.
Bethany wound up losing her spleen, and her feet were broken and so compressed that both are now two sizes smaller than before the accident. She can no longer where regular shoes, but instead must purchase expensive custom made orthopedic shoes and inserts.
Her vision is forever impacted due to her left pupil remaining permanently dilated and her hearing is also affected. Bethany has no recollection of the accident that forever changed her life thanks to a brain bleed she sustained. The injury basically rebooted her brain, and her mother says the now 26-year-old Bethany is essentially13, mentally. For that reason, Bethany lives with her mom.
Though it’s been four years since the accident, many of the aftereffects from the crash remain. And so, Bethany has become a huge advocate for seatbelt and airbag safety. She is adamant about getting the message out about the danger of putting your feet up on the dashboard. Her hope is that her story can help to spare others of making this simple mistake.
We applaud Bethany’s commitment to warn others, and our prayers go out to her and her family. God clearly gave her life a very special purpose!