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Seatbelts saved Peabody residents' lives in rollover accident

Staff writer

Two Peabody residents were involved in a rollover accident Thursday on 120th Road east of Indigo Road.

Bertha Brooks, 60, 1087 Mustang Road, Peabody, was driving a PT Cruiser west on 120th when she started to lose control of the vehicle, investigating sheriff deputy Jim Philpott said. Alyssa Brooks, 15, was also in the vehicle; she lives with Bertha.

The skid marks on the gravel road led Philpott to deduce that Brooks momentarily corrected her skidding vehicle, but then overcorrected to drive into a ditch on the side of the road.

“Gravel roads, it’s almost like driving on marbles,” Philpott said. “It can cause speed to burst.”

Assessing the damage to the vehicle, Philpott thought the car rolled over two and a half times, although the Marion County Emergency personnel said the car rolled four times over the radio frequency. He said with a gap between tire marks he estimates that the car was airborne for 20 feet.

A Lifeteam helicopter transported Alyssa Brooks to Newton Medical Center. Philpott said her condition was critical at the time of transport but she was conscious. Bertha Brooks was taken by ambulance to Newton. Philpott said her condition was serious but not life threatening.

Both victims wore their seatbelts, which kept them in the vehicle during the crash.

“That likely saved their lives,” Phipott said. “If you’re going end over end, it will save your life. It keeps you in the vehicle at least.”

Last modified June 29, 2011

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