New student starts journey at CBU after life-changing car accident

[Lauren Shelburne | Banner] Libby Otten, freshman communication disorders major, spends time with fellow Simmons Hall resident Tatiana Davis, freshman business administration major. Otten is attending California Baptist University after a life-changing accident.

In just a split-second life can take a tragic turn, yet it can also leave a testimony for years to come. That much is true for Libby Otten, freshman communication disorders major at California Baptist University.

Mere months before Otten was to be handed her high school diploma, she was in a car accident that left her hospitalized and injured.

“I lost my grip and got thrown out the back of the Jeep, and it rolled on top of me,” Otten said.

After breaking several bones in her legs and shattering her pelvis, medics said it is only a miracle she is alive.

For many people, this type of tragedy could leave them in a state of shock or even paranoia, but for Otten it has given her a new outlook on life.

“The peace that I experienced just laying there told me that just because one thing happened in my life that doesn’t mean I have to get worked up about it,” Otten said.

While Otten lay next to the car that ultimately could have taken her life, her family prayed over her as they waited for help.

“There is no reason I should be alive,” Otten said. “It is only by the grace of God that I am.”

Otten and her family waited nearly two hours in the mountains of Pozo Creek near Bakersfield for help from firefighters and paramedics. After nearly a complete reconstruction of her legs and pelvis, she stayed the next two weeks in the hospital, and then 10 days in rehabilitation.

“I was in a wheelchair for two months,” she said. “I couldn’t put any weight or pressure on my legs.”

She participated in home study and visited her high school campus when she could.

“I experienced the joy of the Lord,” she said. “It was my senior year I was super involved in school I had to miss almost all of my senior activities, but I was still able to find the joy in the situation, and it was only through the Lord.”

It has been six months since the accident, and Otten has started her first year of college. Her decision in attending CBU was solidified after receiving letters from freshmen and faculty.

“I got a package of notes from people at CBU, and that secured that this is where I belong,” Otten said.

Those close to Otten said they were concerned for her, but saw God’s work in her throughout her recovery.

“The second she got in that accident she had a lot of peace and a lot of strength throughout the whole entire journey,” said Beth Otten, Libby Otten’s mother.  “She was always confident that God was taking care of her.”

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