Del Oro grad makes mom's birthday despite rollover

By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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A former Loomis Basin resident has a seatbelt to thank for saving his life. Greg Connolly, a 2001 Del Oro High School graduate, was recently driving northbound on Interstate 5 in Central California at 70 miles per hour when his car blew a tire. Connolly had been on a business trip to Southern California to promote a new recovery beverage for a company he founded. He said the product, called “Lush,” is an exercise, jet lag and hangover recovery drink. Connolly said that on Sept. 12 he was headed to Granite Bay to celebrate his mom’s birthday. He had even packed a plate of homemade brownies to give her. The brownies were carefully placed on the back seat of his black, 2005 Cadillac CTS. When the right, rear tire blew, Connolly said he immediately lost control of the vehicle. He said the car started spinning sideways and then flipped before coming to rest in the center divider. “It happened so quickly I didn’t have time to think,” he said. Connolly isn’t sure how many times the car rolled, but he said people driving behind him said they saw it flip four to five times. An off-duty California Highway Patrol officer happened to be driving behind Connolly when the accident occurred and stopped to render aid. “When I got out of the car, I was dazed and in shock. The officer helped me and started testing me for a concussion,” Connolly said. “Miraculously, I was totally uninjured. I walked away unscathed.” The same could not be said for Connolly’s car or the brownies. Both were a total loss. Connolly said drivers who stopped to help were horrified by what they thought was a wound on his back. The “wound” was the brownies, which had been tossed in the car during the rollover and became smashed on the back of his shirt. But Connolly’s mom, Calli Louis, didn’t mind about the brownies. She said she was just thankful that her son was wearing his seatbelt and wasn’t injured. At the accident scene, “somewhere in the middle of nowhere,” as Connolly described it, the remains of his car were towed and a Good Samaritan gave Connolly a drive to the Interstate 580 junction. His father drive him back to Granite Bay for the birthday dinner celebration. --------------------------- SEATBELT LAW AND SAFETY TIPS Statewide 29 percent, Placer County 46 percent, of those who died in auto accidents were not wearing seat belts. Every person riding in a private passenger motor vehicle must be properly restrained in an approved safety belt system. Children must ride in the back seat in a properly secured child passenger safety restraint until they are at least 6 years old or weigh 60 pounds. Safety belts are designed for one person and may not be shared. It is illegal to detach the shoulder strap or put it under your arm. Pregnant women should wear the belt under their stomach. Large people should contact their automobile dealer or manufacturer to purchase a safety belt extender. If the safety belt is too tight or rubs, ask car dealer to adjust it, or place a soft cloth or piece of sheepskin on that area.