REIDSVILLE, GA (WTOC) - A state trooper from Reidsville will soon be a national voice for buckling your seatbelts.
Corporal James Metts' warning to one couple made the difference between life and death. Cpl. Metts won't call himself a hero for what happened that day, but a national campaign hopes to use that example to remind people to stay safe on the highway.
Metts told his story about pulling over a couple last year and giving them a warning for no seatbelts. Tyler and Kersten Wheeler buckled up and pulled away.
"I said, 'well, we can wear them a little bit then take them off,' and he said, 'no,' we'd better wear them," Kersten Wheeler said.
A public service announcement from the State of Georgia reenacted their wild crash just an hour later. Metts heard a deputy's report over the radio.
"I heard them giving the vehicle description and the tag number and it rang a bell and I remembered them as the couple I'd just stopped," Metts said.
Metts got there to know had been buckled and survived, unhurt. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will use their ordeal to remind people seatbelts can be the difference between life and death.
Tyler Wheeler says they are definitely believers in wearing your seatbelt now.
"Oh, we're big believers now. As soon as I get in the car now, that's the first thing I do actually. It's just one of those things you never forget," he said.
The Governor's Office of Highway Safety nominated the three to tell their story.
"It's humbling for me for this to get to the level it's at," Metts said. "I would have never expected this for just doing my job."
A job that sometimes helps save lives.
This is just one of three stories they'll use in the campaign.