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After she was raped, Gibson forced Jennifer and her children into a car. But Jennifer, using the advice she saw on The Oprah Show, appealed to him to let her leave the children in the house. "It was the hardest thing I could ever do," Jennifer says. "But I knew that they would be better off without me bringing them with us. I just wanted to get them away from him, and him away from them."

Once she and Gibson were in the car, she asked him to put on his seatbelt, which he did. "I had already had in my head that I was going to jump from the car," she says. "And I thought maybe he would struggle to grab me and to keep me in the car if he had the lap belt across him."

Jennifer says she passed the police station and several other businesses, but couldn't jump from the car because of oncoming traffic. "I didn't want to have an accident," Jennifer says. "I didn't want to hurt anybody else."

Finally, as they were approaching a gas station she decided it was time to jump from the car. "I slowly unbuckled my seatbelt and tried to be as quiet as I could," she says. "[Gibson] saw me and he said, 'Fine, jump! Jump! Just jump!' And I did. … [The car] ran over my shoulder and my hip…and I got up and ran as hard I could to that gas station. When I was in the gas station, I turned around and looked at him and he was running outside of the car and dangling because his lap belt was across him and he couldn't get free."

After Jennifer jumped from the car, it collided with a pole and police immediately caught Gibson. He pled guilty to sexual abuse and escape, and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
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FROM: Held Hostage by the Accused Atlanta Spree Killer: How Ashley Smith Survived
Published on September 28, 2005

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