A new experience

I’m 35 years old and, until last night, I’d never been in a car accident. And now that I have been in one, I can honestly say that I could’ve lived my entire life without that experience!

I know that Nick and I have been posting updates and photos on Facebook all day, but I figured I’d tell the whole story here and be done with it.

So, last night, around 8:30pm, all four of us were in our Blazer, leaving Damon’s baseball practice/scrimmage in Wintersville, Ohio. We were all starving, so we voted to stop at Wendy’s on our way home for dinner. Nick was driving us, and we were in the left lane on our side of a four-lane road (Sunset Blvd, for those of you familiar with the area). Suddenly, a huge Ford truck pulled out in front of us, coming from the right. We saw him pull out, and Nick reacted immediately… slammed on the breaks and turned our car to the left, trying to minimize impact and aiming for a “hole” in oncoming traffic to hopefully avoid an accident.

But, there was no avoiding it. The truck never slowed down, just kept coming at us, and all we could do was brace ourselves for the impact. The scariest feeling ever. I’ve always heard that, when you’re in an accident, everything happens so quickly that you don’t even realize what’s happening, don’t see it coming, etc. But that was NOT my experience! I saw the truck coming and everything seemed to move in slow motion. I knew we were going to crash… at one point, in the middle of the impact, I was thinking that this might be my last conscious thought. That’s a VERY creepy feeling! And of course, I was panicked because both of my babies were in the backseat and my husband was behind the wheel.

Luckily, Damon and Avery have awesome lungs… they were both screaming the entire time, so at least we knew they were alive. But, just when we thought the crash was over, another car hit us, from the oncoming lanes… didn’t see that one coming! Then a new wave of panic rushed over me… wondering how many times we were going to be hit. Luckily, that was it. That was MORE than enough!!

We all got out of the car and made our way to the nearest sidewalk. We could already hear sirens and tons of people were stopping and coming over to us to make sure we were okay. Almost everyone came up to me and said they could “hear the baby” screaming… that would be Avery! To say she was terrified would be an understatement. I think they heard her screaming in Pittsburgh.

I think I pretty much lost my mind for a few minutes, sitting on that sidewalk looking at my car all smashed up in the middle of the road. Such an unreal situation. One minute, we were happily on our way to Wendy’s, and the next, we’re sitting on the side of the road without a vehicle, wondering how we’re even going to get home.

Here’s a picture that Nick took of the accident scene last night. The pic is a little misleading because it looks like most of the impact was with the little car. But the truck in the background definitely caused the brunt of the damage.

Nick kept asking me if I was okay because the crash happened on my side of the car. I felt fine except that my lower abdomen, where the seatbelt was, was really sore. I knew it was from the seatbelt so I wasn’t too concerned… but they talked me into going to the hospital just to have everything checked out. (Also my first ride in an ambulance… don’t mind if I never do that again either!) I went to the ER and had x-rays taken that showed everything was fine. Today, the bruises are starting to come to the surface, but luckily that’s all that appears to be wrong with me.

The kids escaped unscathed, amazingly enough. Avery has the tiniest little scratch/burn on her neck from her seatbelt. But the kids aren’t complaining of being sore or anything. Lucky little creatures, thank God!!! Nick has been limping around and he has a couple of scratches on his head… he’s probably the most injured of all of us, honestly… but he’s also the most stubborn of all of us! He refused treatment at the hospital and decided he just needed ibuprofen (Nick’s miracle cure for EVERYTHING!).

Here’s a picture of Avery’s little scratches, taken this afternoon.

Bottom line is that we were ALL extremely lucky. The car is a mess. When we saw it today in daylight, I just wanted to break down all over again. The scene from last night came back to me, and I just can’t even believe that we were in the car when it sustained all of that damage.

Oh, also, the truck that pulled out in front of us was driven by a 17-year-old boy, and he was the lone passenger. The car that hit us had two young girls in it. The three of them also went to the hospital, but they were fine, too. So, there were no major injuries. The boy driving the truck was cited at the scene.

I left in the ambulance, Nick called Damon’s baseball coach and had him come get Nick and the kids… and he took them to the hospital where I’d been taken. In the meantime, Nick called my mom and she met us at the hospital and brought us home. As soon as he got up this morning, Nick was on the phone… with insurance companies and police departments, etc. God love him for handling everything because I had no clue what to do!! We were really afraid that we wouldn’t get things done in time to get a rental car today, and then we wouldn’t have a vehicle all weekend… which wouldn’t work very well!! The Blazer has been our ONLY vehicle for quite some time now. Nick and I manage sharing it, although it’s not an ideal situation… but having NO car? I don’t see how that would possibly work. I was just sick to my stomach last night, wondering what we were going to do for a vehicle.

Finally, this afternoon, they arranged for us to have a rental car. The Enterprise guy came to the house and picked up Nick… and he came home with our rental minivan! It’s a really nice Chrysler Town and Country. The kids think it’s a damn spaceship. But Nick and I are so NOT minivan people!!! We’re really glad this vehicle is just temporary! 😉

The insurance adjuster is heading out to look at the Blazer Monday or Tuesday, so hopefully we’ll get some news then. We really think they’ll total the Blazer… there was so much damage done. The man at the tow yard said he thought they’d actually fix it, because the air bags didn’t deploy. I think that man is nuts. I can’t imagine that they could fix the Blazer for less than they could replace it. But we’ll see.

Here are some pics of the Blazer that I took at the tow yard today. I think it looked even worse in daylight. So depressing to see my car sitting there, destroyed. 😦

This evening, once we got the rental van and after we stopped to clean out the Blazer, we finally made it to Wendy’s for dinner. Only took us 21 hours to get there!!!

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3 Responses to A new experience

  1. Trish says:

    I am just teary eyed reading this. I am so thankful that you all are ok, hearing your voice yesterday and knowing that you are ok almost had me teary eyed again. I know everything will work out. I love you guys! XOXOXO!

  2. Tami says:

    I also got teared up reading this – and I’ve never even met you in person 🙂

    I have been in an accident and I know how horrifying those slow-motion moments are. I’m thankful you are all reasonably unharmed. I am assuming you were all wearing seatbelts.

    Can’t see how your car could possibly be repaired. Hope your insurance company is a good one and that you have a smooth transition to a new vehicle. God Bless you all!

  3. Caryn McGraw says:

    Oh my GOODNESS ERIN! I am so sorry. My first accident was scary as hell and I didn’t even have my kids in the car. Well you are right in does happen in seconds, it feels like everything is in slow motion for you as you see everything flash before your eyes. I am just glad everyone is okay. A car can be replaced, but not human life. I am sure the insurance company will make the right decision. They will weigh safety, the cost of repairs versus cars worth, etc.

    You gave a prime example of why I think they need to race the driving age to 18. Kids just don’t get it these days.

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