Injury prevented by smart car frame, driver arrested for DUI

Published 9:14 pm Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Flipped Car

Mark Oakley looks at the Smart Car that saved his life after the accident last Friday. According to reports, Oakley was on his way from Savannah, Georgia, to Alabama when he swerved off the road on South West Street when he almost hit a cat. — Powell Cobb

A man flipped his car while driving on South West Street last Friday when he reportedly swerved to avoid hitting a cat.

According to Bainbridge Public Safety Chief Eric Miller, the accident had potential to kill the driver, Mark Oakley. However, Oakley’s smart car was built with a NASCAR-certified roll cage that essentially saved his life.

Oakley had no injuries caused by the accident.

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“Without the strength of that framing, the car flipping would have collapsed in on itself and killed that gentleman,” Miller said. “It’s that framing that saved his life.”

Oakley was on a number of medications at the time of the accident, including meds that warned not to be taken while using machinery, according to reports.

Oakley was arrested for driving under the influence, reckless driving and failure to maintain roadway.

He bonded out and was released later that day.

Miller said he’s seen a number of similar accidents that have resulted in far worse consequences than an arrest.

“I’ve seen someone being thrown from the car because they didn’t have a seatbelt on,” Miller said. “The worse I’ve seen is someone being decapitated.”