Sunday, December 7, 2008


On Friday night, my mom and I decided that we deserved to go out to eat.  My mom was exhausted and didn't feel like cooking, so we went to a local Mexican restaurant where the meals are pretty cheap and there's usually not a huge crowd.  By some chance, we decided to drive a different way than we usually go to that side of town.  We drove up Shipley Rd and got to the intersection of Shipley and Wilson Rd.  We had a red light, so my mom slowed down, and then everything felt like slow motion.  We watched a red SUV crossing in front of us, and a gray sedan running the red across from us... they slammed into each other with such force that the SUV did a 360 in the intersection, and the sedan careened off the road and into the woods in the front yard of the house on the corner.  They hit a tree.

It was strange because we didn't have any music on, yet we didn't even hear a crash or horns.  We just watched it, it happened so quick.  My mom immediately pulled over and we jumped out of our car.  It's weird how you don't even get scared, your adrenaline is just rushing.  We immediately ran over to the people in the sedan.  As I was getting out, I dialed 911 and stayed on the phone with them for about 5 minutes, answering questions... "Yes, there are people trapped in a car, Yes there is a head injury, Yes there is someone unconscious, Yes there is a car in the middle of the intersection, Yes there are hazardous fluids leaking out of one of the cars..."  They told me that they needed someone to direct traffic, so I appointed this teenage kid who had pulled over to see if everyone was alright.  My mom yelled to me to go get the blanket that was in her trunk, so I ran back over to her car and got it out and realized it was my Phillies blanket from the World Series.  I ran back over to her and we used it to apply pressure to the woman's face, which was bleeding pretty profusely.  The woman began waking up and she was in a lot of pain - her window had shattered and there was glass all over her, and she was bleeding all over.  Her husband, the driver, was trying to calm her down but she was becoming pretty irate.  My mom stabilized her neck and told her to try not to move while we waited...

After what felt like 20 minutes but was probably around 5 minutes, three ambulances, two fire trucks, and around ten cop cars/emergency vehicles showed up on the scene.  My mom and I stuck around and watched them use the jaws of life to get the man and woman out of their car.  The 4 teenagers who had been in the SUV were all fine and had gotten out on their own - although their car looked like an accordion.  A policeman came over and took down our information, since we had witnessed the accident.  He thanked us for our help, and then we got into our car and left... they had blocked off the road a little ways down, so we had to get through the block.  

It felt so strange to drive away from that... We were there for a total of about 40 minutes.  I didn't want to leave them.  I had walked over to the 4 teenagers while we were waiting for the ambulances to come and two of them were girls who were crying so hard - obviously just very shaken up.  I put my arms around one of the girls and hugged her and just calmed her down and told her that everything was going to be okay, and that she was going to be okay..  I've been in her spot, and I know how scared she felt, even though she wasn't hurt.

For awhile I've been saying that I wish I knew the name of the woman who pulled over when I got into that car accident in high school... she was so calm and so incredibly sweet to me as we waited for the ambulance.  So, I kind of feel like I "paid it forward" instead.  

(Note: The photo posted is the one that was in the newspaper on Saturday morning in the article about the accident.  It was taken by T.J. Healy.)

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