Sole survivor of crash on Hwy 168 describe moments after accident

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After a quiet night of reminiscing at Shaver Lake, three inseparable friends made the familiar trip back home cruising down highway 168, when suddenly they went airborne. (KFSN)

After a quiet night of reminiscing at Shaver Lake, three inseparable friends made the familiar trip back home cruising down highway 168, when suddenly they went airborne.

"First thing I did when I woke up when it was sunrise was, I guess I found some way to get my seatbelt off cause I wanted to see if they were okay," said Jason Kirby, Clovis.

Kirby said he was crushed in the backseat-- his friends, Aaron Beasly and Austin Wagenleitner in the front. Every time a car passed, he said, he screamed for help.

"I felt like it was eight days, but it was only 18 hours. I kept on thinking about my girlfriend Sam, and my nephews, only things that pulled me through."

Rescue finally came at 11:00 the next morning when firefighters spotted the wreck-- then came the heaviest blow.

"When they were coming down I heard them say, two john does, that was the hardest part because I lost a lot of friends," said Kirby.

One week later, after several surgeries at the hospital, Kirby is beginning to process what others call incredible luck-- he only feels the loss.

"That's what regrets and hurts me today; is knowing I could have told them, put your seatbelt on."

Kirby said he was the only one who had it on that night- the strap scarred his neck but saved his life.

"If I didn't have my seatbelt on, l'd be laid out or worse."

An extra chance-- he knows he has to find a way to give back, hoping to use his story to show how something so simple that couldn't save his friends can save others to come.

Kirby hopes to do more with seat belt enforcement one day. He said the doctors and nurses at CRMC are helping him recover quickly and he is now starting physical therapy.

Kirby's family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical bills; if you would like to contribute click here.

Related Topics:
car crashfresno countyclovisfresnoFresnoSierra - Foothills
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