Teenage car crash survivor makes it her mission to promote seat belt use among drivers

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MARTINEZ, Ga. (WJBF)  After a life changing car crash, a local family is making it their mission to remind drivers to buckle up.

After a life changing car accident, a local family is making it their mission to remind drivers to buckle up.

Through hundreds of haircuts, a local salon has raised more than $80,000 dollars for 8 local families. In the 9th year of the “cut-a-thon” event, the salon teamed up with Triple A to also promote seat belt safety.

Trendz Salon holds an annual “cut-a-thon” to raise money for individuals in need, but this year the owner says the charity event hits close to home.

“I mean they are all special. A lot of the kids we don’t know we get to know, but it’s a whole other level when you are cutting for your family. So it’s emotional,” said owner of Trendz Salon Robyn Kelley.

Robyn Kelley is the owner and also Kelley Smith’s aunt. When Robyn Kelley’s employees learned of her niece’s accident, they decided the next “cut-a-thon” would be for Kelley Smith. The life-changing crash happened last year, when Kelley Smith crashed and was ejected from her car.

“I just got a good feeling that something was wrong and I went out looking for her and when I got there another guy had just stopped, when I got there. She was laying in the ditch and the car was off in the field,” Tara Smith, Kelley’s mom told WJBF News Channel 6.

After suffering a brain injury in the accident, doctors didn’t think the teenager would make it, but she proved them wrong. Through the long journey, Kelley Smith hasn’t given up hope that she will walk again someday.

“What is the number on thing you want to do now?” Asked WJBF News Channel 6’s Stefany Bornman.

“Get out of this chair,” answered Kelley Smith.

“What are you doing to make that real?” Asked WJBF News Channel 6’s Stefany Bornman.

“Therapy and walking.” Kelley Smith said.

“What are they doctors saying?” Asked WJBF News Channel 6’s Stefany Bornman.

“I’m doing good,”answered Kelley Smith.

At Sunday’s “Cuts and Clicks for Kelley” you could get a fresh look and also test your driving abilities through Triple A’s crash simulator.

Kelley Smith wasn’t wearing a seat belt when she crashed, but now she’s an advocate for the life saving device.

“Wear your seat belt,” Kelley Smith said.

“Everybody should buckle their seat belt. It doesn’t matter your age… anything. I mean seat belts are so important. I mean she’s an example,” Tara Smith said.

The money raised from the “cut-a-thon” is to help with medical and therapy expenses. Kelley’s aunt tells WJBF News Channel 6 even if one person gets in their car and buckles up, then they have made a difference.

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