Thomas Dolence of Martins Ferry was all smiles as he received the Saved By The Belt Award from the Ohio State Highway Patrol Wednesday.

On May 6, he was in a serious rollover crash on County Road 2.

He said he went off the berm, over-corrected, and rolled over twice, ending up in the creek.

“I think the car rolled over twice,” said Dolence. “But I’m OK!”

“In any kind of rollover crash, the safety belt is your best protection and that proved to be correct in this situation with Mr. Dolence,” said Lt. Maurice Waddell, OSHP post commander. “He received minor injuries and he stayed inside the vehicle during the rollover crash.”

Dolence was accompanied by his entire family at the award presentation.

He says he’s glad he survived to be able to enjoy his family including ten grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

He said he’s always been a big proponent of wearing a seat belt.