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Published August 19, 2013, 05:02 PM

Family of Hawley teen says wearing a seatbelt saved his life

Hawley, MN (WDAY TV) - The family of a Hawley teen says wearing a seatbelt, saved his life. Authorities say 16 year-old Jordan Bortnem fell asleep, went off the road, and hit trees early this morning on Highway 10.

Hawley, MN (WDAY TV) - The family of a Hawley teen says wearing a seatbelt, saved his life. Authorities say 16 year-old Jordan Bortnem fell asleep, went off the road, and hit trees early this morning on Highway 10.

Through social media, his family says he has a broken leg and ankle injuries, and was expected to have surgery today, but is going to be OK. The family and highway patrol says this accident, could easily have been a fatal one.

Family calls Jordan a joker, a really funny kid. But most importantly, his uncle points out how smart Jordan is. Unlike so many teens his age, he chose to wear his seatbelt, and it saved his life.

Sometimes life is all about playing your odds. Today, family says Jordan Bortnem got lucky.

Bryan Bortem - Jordan’s Uncle: "Living and breathing and lucid, and that was the important thing."

Because despite being in a lot of pain, the 16 year-old who fell asleep behind the wheel, is alive.

Bryan Bortem: "The fact that he was wearing his seatbelt today was not a fluke. This is something Jordan does every single time he gets in a car, and he always has been like that."

Two drivers in North Dakota weren't as lucky. Eighteen year-old Micah Wagner and 23 year-old Matthew Cain were killed in separate accidents this past weekend. Both were ejected from their vehicles; neither wearing their seatbelts.

Bryan Bortnem is Jordan's uncle. His daughter, Malia, is just learning how to drive.

Malia Bortem - Jordan’s Cousin: "Always be, like, fully rested."

Even after the bad accident, she had good news for her driving instructor.

Malia Bortem: "I was really excited to tell him that Jordan was wearing wearing his seatbelt and he always wears his seatbelt."

Bryan Bortem: "It's important to form good driving habits, and on the top of that list is seatbelt use."

Jordan, luckily, has a good habit of wearing his.

Bryan Bortem: "Putting your seatbelt on is the one thing you can control to put the odds in your favor."

More than 5 people were killed in Minnesota over the weekend, many of them also not wearing their seat belt. Minnesota State Patrol says these accidents are highly preventable, we just need to pay attention.

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