COVINGTON, La. - As sleet rained down from the skies Thursday, the cold and wintry conditions were a flashback to last Tuesday when similar conditions iced up roadways, making them dangerous to drive on.
But 29-year-old Christopher Wallace headed out on Hwy. 25 that night anyway to run a short errand for his wife.
"I was being extra cautious while driving," Wallace said. "I was driving slower than I normally would."
But authorities say another driver on the same highway wasn't as careful and was impaired, leading to a head-on crash with Wallace.
Louisiana State Police say the driver of this van wasn't wearing a seat belt and had to go to the hospital for her injuries.
Wallace was restrained and walked away from his car all on his own.
Wallace was given the Northshore Regional Traffic Safety Coalition "Saved by the Belt" award for being an example of how seat belts save lives, in any conditions.
"As you can see from that picture, if I hadn't been restrained, there is no way that I'd be here," he said.
Louisiana State Police try to spread the significance of seat belts using several resources at countless events when they don't have living proof on hand like Wallace.
“We're hoping that people see this message and they see these crashes that do happen every day and how important it is to wear their seat belt," Sgt. Nick Manale said.
Wallace wants what happened to him to be an eye-opener to others.
"People my age and younger, just you've got to wear a seat belt," he said. "There's no other way around it. Wear your seat belt."
That's especially true during the challenging winter conditions that have plagued the area over the past three weeks.
Once the other driver was released from the hospital, Louisiana State Police arrested her for DWI, no seat belt and improper lane usage.