Helmet saves teen from serious injury
Glenwood Springs Correspondent
Vail, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” A Flight for Life helicopter flies overhead as Mariah Martin looks to the sky.
The aircraft reminds her of life’s fragility.
Mariah, 14, is recovering at home from being hit by a car Friday night. She considers her decision to wear a helmet a lifesaver.
“My parents have always wanted us to. It was like habit, like wearing a seat belt,” she said. “It was kind of scary ” the day before I actually forgot it. I’m sure my helmet saved my life.”
After baby-sitting Friday around 9 p.m., Mariah put on her black bicycle helmet and headed to her house in Glenwood Springs. Shawn Binion, the father of the child for whom she was baby-sitting, accompanied her on the bike ride home.
Mariah was crossing the intersection at 23rd Street and Grand Avenue near Alpine Bank. She didn’t make it across the intersection in time before the traffic light turned green. She and a truck collided, knocking her to the pavement.
She said, “I felt bad for the driver because it wasn’t his fault. He had a green light, and he wasn’t speeding.
“I saw him coming but by the time I realized that it was too late. I remember thinking, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s going to hit me,'” she said. “I remember hitting the car and bouncing off. I don’t remember flying through the air. I just remember being on the ground.”
Marks and indentations on her black bicycle helmet show the extent of the impact. She was transported to Valley View Hospital where a brain scan showed she did not suffer a head injury. She suffered a hip and pelvic fractures that won’t require surgery.
“I thought I could get up and walk off,” she said. “I remember wiggling my toes because I thought I might be paralyzed.”
Mariah’s dad, Lauren Martin, is thankful his daughter followed his lead by wearing a helmet.
“You know what, it did its job,” he said. “I’ve made the argument about the times when helmets don’t make a difference. But there is that window of safety when a helmet does make a difference. It was her own choice that day to put it on.”
In August, Lauren Martin returned from a 4,080-mile cycling road trip that took him from Washington to Maine over a course of 64 days. Five weeks into the trip, Mariah, his youngest daughter Sierra, and wife, Kim, joined him on the last leg of the cross-country expedition. Mariah and Sierra would often ride with their dad.
“I think it’s funny nothing happened on the trip, but this happened two blocks from my house,” Mariah said.
On Sunday, Martin ” pastor of Glenwood Mennonite Church ” focused his sermon on his feelings following Mariah’s accident.
“The theme for Sunday was gratitude and what we took for granted,” he said. “This was a bad experience, but we’re just so thankful.”
Mariah hopes her accident helps promote bicycle helmet safety. On Sunday, she saw the driver of the truck that struck her at the Kids and Teen Safety and Health Fair.
He was buying his daughter a bicycle helmet.
On Monday, the Glenwood Springs Police Department made a stop at the Martin home to give Mariah a gift she plans to use over and over again.
A new purple bicycle helmet.
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