What started as a typical road trip with her boyfriend would change Bethany Benson’s life forever.
Before that day, Bethany was a college student almost finished with degrees in History, French, and Education with aspirations of becoming a teacher.
But on August 2nd, Bethany had her feet up on the dashboard enjoying the drive, with her feet up on the dashboard.
She has no recollection of the car accident that shattered her body and her dreams but she’s been told that it started when a motorcycle and a small car crashed causing a tractor trailer to slam on his breaks trying to avoid the crash.. but Bethany’s boyfriend didn’t stop in time and drove into the back of the semi.
Bethany and her boyfriend both survived the horrific crash but, because she had her feet on the dash, her injuries were much more severe.
The airbag in the car deployed on impact, striking Bethany in the hamstrings. The impact of the airbag forced her knees to strike her in the face and her feet to go through the windshield – causing her to break her left eye socket, cheekbone, nose.
When her feet were forced through the windshield she suffered 3 broken bones in her right foot and 8 broken bones in the left.
More frightening than the broken bones was the bleeding on the brain caused by the traumatic strike to the head.
“I always used to put my feet up” in a car, she said. “It’s easier on the back if you have your feet up. I never even thought that it could be so dangerous.”
Though her external injuries have healed, Bethany lives in constant pain – managed by an onslaught of pills every day. Walking requires specially made orthopedic shoes, and she’s suffered irreversible effects from bleeding into her brain after the accident.
Bethany’s mother, Mary Lachapelle, had to put her retirement plan on hold in order to continue providing insurance for the family.
“I got back a different daughter,” Mary told Driving. “I lost a sweet 22-year-old who worked full-time and put herself through university. She was on a great path. I got a 13-year-old with anger issues.”
Bethany is sharing her story to raise awareness of the dangers of having your feet up on the dashboard.