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July 09, 2010 05:57 PM

Kansas Couple Speaks Out About Crash

Sioux Falls, SD


A Kansas couple was on their way to Illinois when they were hit by a semi on Interstate 90 Thursday. 
Just after the driver, Betty Sullivan, was released from the hospital Friday afternoon, she went to see what's left of her RV and save any belongings. She says this whole experience has been eye-opening.

It all happened in the blink of an eye.

"The semi apparently came up behind me really fast and hit the back of my car. I felt the hit and next thing I know is that I'm being forced across the passing lane and into the median," Betty said.

Betty says that's when she lost control of the RV. But after 10 years of driving one, she says she knows what she's doing.

"I felt like, 'Oh dear.  I'm a woman; they'll think it was my driving.' It was not my driving.  It was the semi that hit me and I had no control," Betty said.

The 73 year old wasn't alone. Her husband, Leonard, was in the passenger seat because he had a broken foot. But it was something she did before she pulled onto the interstate that she says saved her life.

"Thank goodness for the seat belt and that's a good reminder for people to wear their seat belt all the time because you never know when something like this will come up," Betty said.

But Betty doesn't remember whether her husband, Leonard, did the same.

"I suspect he'd gotten up to reach for a map or something and that's my suspicion. I don't know that for sure but I think my seat belt gave way at some point before I stopped and his may have broken," Betty said.

Leonard was thrown from the RV and is still in hospital with a broken pelvis. Even officials say that's amazing considering what they were up against.

And while Betty will never forget this trip through South Dakota, she feels blessed to be able to tell her story. 

"I feel extremely lucky. I've told so many people God's angels were with me," Betty said.

The couple has been retired for 10 years. Betty was a nursing professor and Leonard was a pediatrician in Wichita.  Betty says the accident isn't stopping them from traveling again.
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