Life Changing Accidents Happen to People Like You and Me
Bad things happen to all kinds of people every day. I learned the hard way that accidents can (and will) happen to “normal” people like me.
I guess you could call me accident prone.
Usually I am not even aware of the injury until later. I often find bruises, scrapes, blisters, et cetera and wonder how they got there. Although I find myself getting minor injuries quite often (I know it comes with working on a farm), by far the worst thing that has ever happened to me happened in 2005.
January 10, 2005…an evening that truly changed my life forever.
My boyfriend (at the time) and I decided to take my truck for a drive down to the big horse field that we called “the farm.” My truck was a 1988 Chevy S10 4-speed manual pickup truck. I knew how to drive it pretty well; it was my first vehicle. My boyfriend convinced me to let him drive that night. This was a crucial misjudgment on my part–I thought he could actually drive. Hah.
We followed some friends down the road, they were pretty far ahead of us in their Chevy Blazer. It was a curvy back road with loose gravel through thick woods. I guess he thought it would be cool to drive fast and catch up with them…not cool. As we went around a curve the rear end of the truck started to fishtail. He overcorrected and we ended up driving through the woods at about 55 mph.
It felt like slow motion. I saw each tree that we ran over until one appeared in the headlights that was much to big to run over. Upon impact everything stopped…the lights, the music, the noises. Silence.
I saw the spiderweb pattern on the windshield and figured out pretty quickly that my head had hit there. The same star-shaped pattern was on the driver side too. He jumped out of the truck and came around to my side. I had already opened the door and tried to get out..but I crumpled to the ground. Something was wrong with my leg.
Our friends came back to find us. I remember they were acting all worried…but I just felt tired. I laid down on the ground and tried to go to sleep, but my friend would not let me. My boyfriend was running around in circles yelling that he was dying. I remember thinking, “If he’s dying, why is he up and running around?”
Suddenly the lights were everywhere. Sirens, lights, people, and sounds appeared on that little dirt road. It was like something you would see on TV. They loaded us up into an ambulance and took us to the hospital. On the way they said it looked like my right leg was broken. My knee was practically the size of a grapefruit.
After many tests and x-rays the doctors told me I had broken my neck. My leg was fine, it was just severely swollen from the impact. It turns out I actually broke the dash board of the truck with my knee. Oh, and the boy I was with? No major injuries. Just a cut on his head and a bruise on his face.
Back to reality: I had broken my NECK. I was 16 years old! This changed so much for me. I couldn’t get my license when I was supposed to anymore, I couldn’t ride my horse, I wasn’t even supposed to walk up and down stairs. I had to finish my senior year of high school wearing a big plastic neck brace.
It didn’t seem real. How could this happen to ME? Things like this didn’t happen to people like me…it happened to other people. Life felt surreal for a long time after that. Everything was different. I developed severe post-traumatic stress…to this day I do not like other people driving me ANYWHERE. I always drive.
I did learn an important lesson from this accident: ALWAYS wear your seat belt, even if you’re just going right up the road. Accidents happen to all of us, even people like you and me. Oh, and don’t trust that other people can drive.
- My Experiences of Major of car accidents (farees.wordpress.com)
- How I survived an autocrash and lost three friends – Tosin Ajayi (vanguardngr.com)
- Woman dies after road accident (bbc.co.uk)
- New proposal for young drivers (autonetinsurance.co.uk)
Posted on December 12, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged Autos, Chevrolet, health, reflection, Seat belt, Traffic collision, Trauma (medicine), Truck, turning point. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.