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Woman with Foot on Car Dashboard Has Leg Smashed Into Her Face by Airbag Deployment

A Georgia woman who was riding in the front passenger seat of a car with her foot up on the dashboard had her own foot smashed into her face and her leg shattered when the airbag deployed during an accident, reports say.

In an object lesson for those who ride with their feet propped up on a car dashboard, Georgia resident Audra Tatum suffered grievous injuries in an accident that may otherwise have caused few injuries when the family car she was riding in t-boned another vehicle.

This month marked the two-year anniversary of the accident that left Tatum nearly crippled, filled with screws and rods, and forced to learn to walk all over again. The August 2, 2015, the accident left both cars practically totaled, but the passenger compartments largely intact.

“We were heading to my parents to pick up our two sons. A car came up to a stop sign, and we were coming down the road, and he pulled out in front of us…we T-boned him,” Tatum told News Channel 9 this week.

While the accident scene didn’t really look too messy, Tatum’s injuries were horrendous.

Tatum wasn’t wearing a seat belt as she rode in her car that fateful day. Worse, she was resting one foot up on the dashboard.

Then came the accident and the deployment of the car’s airbags. But instead of saving her life, the airbag did terrible damage.

“When the airbag exploded, it pushed my foot up into my face,” Audra said.

Not only did the airbag blast her leg backward into her face, but she sustained massive bone breaks of her shoulder, her ankle, femur, and nose, not to mention muscle and tendon tears.

Tatum said that after the accident her doctors told her that if she didn’t have her foot up on the dashboard, she would likely have sustained only a few scratches and bruises.

The gruesome injury caused her to lose her job, necessitated multiple surgeries, and forced her into two years of rehab that still isn’t done.

Because of her experience, Tatum says she has a serious message for everyone who thinks it is comfortable to put their feet on the dashboard.

“I regret it every single day. Every hour of every day, because every time I put pressure on my leg I feel it….Do not sit like that. If you sit like that [in a car] you’re asking for it,” she said.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.

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