Categorized | News Articles

UT: Diane Bell

Posted on 12 September 2003 by Ron Cook

Woman saved by her seat belt

Article in the Diane Bell Column of the Union Tribune: September 4, 2003

For years Monica Zech was the radio voice who alerted commuters to traffic tie-ups around the county. She nearly became a traffic statistic herself this Labor Day weekend. Zech’s Toyota collided with a vehicle that ran a stop sign in El Cajon early Friday evening. The impact demolished Zech’s 2003 SUV and sent her to the emergency room with a concussion and numerous cuts and bruises on her hands and legs. “I was saved by my seat belt,” reports a grateful Zech, who has the seat-belt bruise to prove it. The two occupants of the other car luckily escaped injury.

Zech, now a driver-safety lecturer and public information officer for the El Cajon Fire Department, was greeted by some of her fire department colleagues who were dispatched to the accident scene. At Grossmont Hospital, she was met by another familiar face – her daughter, Victoria, an emergency medical technician who rushed over as soon as she got the news. As fate had it, Zech had just lectured that morning to several hundred people on how to prepare for the dangers of Labor Day driving.

She never made it to the CHP office where she was headed with her van’s cache of 10 donated pizzas from Peter Piper Pizza destined for officers running a DUI checkpoint that evening. Fortunately, though, the pizzas survived the impact, and the CHP came and picked them up from the accident scene.

(Note: I was able to call the CHP from the crash scene to come pick up the pizzas so the officers would have them as I had planned. – Monica Zech)

What’s in a name?

Zech now calls herself Monica “Crash” Zech. She finds comfort in her sense of humor, but admits she was taken aback when the hospital’s attending physician introduced himself: “Hello, I’m Dr. Butcher.” Luckily, he told her no surgery was needed.

SignOnSanDiego.com: Diane Bell — Woman saved by her seat belt

Note Personal Update: Since Diane Bell mentioned my collision September 4th, 2003, I’ve undergone neck-spine surgery, and double knee surgeries to repair the injuries caused by this “STOP SIGN” runner.  Thank you to GOD and for the many prayers that were said for me.   I’ve been able to resume my safety lecturing work shortly after the collision, and after the surgeries. Thank you to those who sent notes and emails of support – most of all “thank you Diane!

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