Roller Coaster From Hell – My Accident

So I was in a car accident last Thursday afternoon, approximately 3:15pm EST.

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It’s actually a little more complicated than “a car accident.”  I guess I should just start at the beginning.

My car was a 1998 Chevy Monte Carlo, which my dad bought new and drove up until a few years ago, when he gave it to me.  I didn’t want it, it was big and heavy with no turn radius to speak of and each door weighed like a thousand pounds.  Oh, and I suppose a black car with black leather interior is fine for Iowa (which is where my dad bought and drove it), but Florida – no, not so much.  On the other hand, it got me from A to B and it had working AC as well as a radio (I gave up on CDs a long time ago).  And since both of my jobs require me to have my own vehicle, I couldn’t complain too much.

So last Thursday I finished up my High Hopes groups in Fellsmere and headed home (which is about 25 minutes).  I usually take I-95 but I needed to stop at the VNA so I headed for US-1 instead.  I was on CR-510, which I am on every week for work, when I notice the cars in front of me stopping.  I applied my brakes and initially started to slow, when suddenly I had no brakes.  My foot was pressed down and nothing.  I had about three seconds to decide what to do, and I decided to swerve to the right and go off the road, I didn’t want to hit the person in front of me.  Unfortunately for me there was this wire thingy that helps support one of those huge wooden power line poles (scientifically speaking), and I drove up it.  Yep, I drove up the wire thingy until I flipped over and landed on the hood of my car.  I remember seeing the wooden pole as my car headed upward, and then the blue sky with puffy white clouds, and then I was upside down… and then slammed to the ground.  I don’t do roller coasters as it is, but this was like my worst nightmare, my roller coaster from hell.  Possibly the more terrifying thing I have ever experienced.  I was literally suspended upside down by my seatbelt maybe a foot off the ground once the dust settled, so to speak.  I was definitely disoriented but I never blacked out.  My purse landed right next to my head, right side up and I instantly wondered where my phone was.  My first thought was I have to call Zach (my fiancé).  And then I started to panick.

There I am, suspended by my seatbelt… I’m crying, I notice my hand is bleeding, and I am terrified.  I start calling for help, first timidly (I don’t know why), and then I was screaming.  Quite quickly a man appeared to my left, I think he opened my door, he asked if I had turned off the car (which I hadn’t even thought about) and I told him I couldn’t reach it.  So he reached in and turned off my car, undid my seatbelt and pulled me from my car.  I do not know who this man was, but he was very brave and I wish I could thank him.  Next came the off-duty EMT, Ellis.  Ellis held my head in place until the ambulance came, he asked me questions and kept me talking, he was kind and gentle – though I was borderline hysterical.  When the ambulance arrived I refused to go to the hospital.  I know, totally crazy.  Why did I refuse?  I was afraid I would have hospital bills that I could never repay.  It sounds so stupid to say it out loud, but that is what I was worried about.  A glimpse of my mind at that time, “This can’t be happening, I can’t afford for this to be happening, I can’t afford a new car, or to miss time from work…”  That is what I was worried about, I mean really?!  So the EMT assured me this is why I have car insurance, to pay my hospital bills in case of an accident.  Duh!!!  Then I agreed to go to the hospital and they strapped me down on one of those keep-your-spine-in-place boards.

Joey and Brandon (or was it Bradley?) are the EMT/firefighters that drove me to the hospital. Brandon was in the back with me and I kept insisting that my fiancé had to know what had happened, I needed him to meet me at the hospital and that was all that mattered.  So Brandon kindly pulled out his cell phone and dialed Zach’s cell on speakerphone, which I knew he wouldn’t answer because he was at work and it was a number he wouldn’t recognize, but I wanted to leave a message.  You should hear that message, Zach played it for me later that night, it’s intense.  Zach arrived at the hospital just a few minutes after I did and I was still strapped to that board, but I was so happy to see him.  They scanned my neck, my back and my right leg, thankfully nothing was broken.  Four hours after I arrived they discharged me with a script for pain killers.

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Such a lovely picture of me, haha.  I truly am lucky to be alive, it’s a good thing I always wear my seatbelt!  I’m sure I will do some more in depth writing about this experience, so keep an eye out!  Thanks for reading, glad I’m still here to write!

xoxo

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100 thoughts on “Roller Coaster From Hell – My Accident

  1. OMG! Wheels falling off the car when I’m on the freeway and brakes failing are my two biggest car fears…now I know at least one of those fears is justified. And I know just what you mean – smashed my face in a bike crash once and did NOT want to go to emergency because I wasn’t sure what my insurance would cover. Get better!

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  3. Did you ever find out why your brakes failed? Newer cars almost always have what’s called “dual circuits” to keep that from happening. You might want to make sure you understand the cause of your crash so you can prevent it from recurring.

    Glad you’re okay.

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      • I engaged my break and for a second it started to slow, then it was like I hit black ice (if you’re familiar with that feeling). Suddenly I just had no brakes, with my foot pressed all the way down. I was going full steam ahead with a car stopped in front of me.

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      • This is going to be a bit technical, so bear with me and please, if you don’t understand, ask. I will be happy to clarify.

        99.9% of car brakes work on a pressurized hydraulic system. When you step on the brake pedal, you are increasing the pressure in the entire system and activating the brake mechanisms.

        In really old cars, there was only one hydraulic circuit. Thus, if you cut a brake line or had a puncture, the entire system depressurized and the brakes would fail. All new cars have dual circuit brakes. This means that a catastropic failure simply causes the brake pedal to sink an inch or so before backup circuit activates whichever half of the system (front or back) remains undamaged.

        Your car definitely has a dual circuit brake system, which makes me think one of four things happened.

        1. You catastrophically damaged both the front and rear circuits simultaneously. The most likely way for this to happen is that you ran over something.

        2. Something went seriously wrong with your anti-lock braking system and it sent the entire car into “ice mode.”

        3. One of the two circuits failed and you weren’t pushing hard enough to activate the second circuit.

        4. You had already destroyed one circuit without noticing some time before and, right before your accident, experienced a second, independent failure.

        Only 4 would have been preventable with better maintenance.

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      • Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to explain this because I definitely didn’t understand. I honestly don’t know which of the four reasons it was, but it’s nice to know what could have happened. Thank you!

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    • Thank you! It’s strange, for the first week after the accident I wasn’t so much emotionally affected – I just powered through all the junk that follows such an event. Then it started to hit me emotionally and that’s a little more difficult to move through (if that makes any sense). So I am trying to be patient with myself as I heal – both physically and emotionally. Thank you for asking 😊

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      • I hear that. I’m so glad you’re giving yourself time – the emotional/mental stuff can be just as, if not more, difficult to get through than the physical. So here’s a kind of weird question, but I like to ask before I do: would it be ok if I prayed for you?

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      • That’s very kind of you to ask! Personally I am not a religious person, but I have many friends who are and I always appreciate the positive energy! So yes, your prayers are appreciated 😊

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      • Thank you! I’ll be praying for your healing, physically and emotionally, during this time – and if you’d like to talk, let me know!

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  4. You’re very welcome. 🙂 Just for future reference. If you feel your brakes suddenly change in the future – for example, the pedal suddenly goes down an inch farther than usual – take your car to a mechanic immediately. Brakes are the most important part of a car – for reasons you are now very familiar with.

    I’m glad you’re okay. 🙂

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  5. I’m so glad you’re okay, and I’ll keep you in my prayers for a quick and healthy recovery. Make sure you take the time to have a good cry (a glass of wine in the bath is always my favorite way to start a good bawling session)!
    Love and health to you! -Sarah

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  6. Let me start off my saying that I am so glad you’re okay. I don’t think I would’ve reacted as well as you did, but it seems that you tried to remain calm and you were thinking logically! I pictured everything you wrote. I feel like I witnessed the accident first hand. It’s terrible that you had to go through that, but I’m glad the accident didn’t win 🙂

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  7. OH, dear. I am writing to say thank-you for following me at faithsighanddiy.com. Of course, I had no idea till I saw your profile and I just happened to select this day. I would’ve been terrified as well. I’m so glad you are ok. It seems so trivial to be saying thank-you but I do thank you.

    God bless and have a speedy recovery.

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  8. Wow, very scary! Somebody else commented that reading your post was like witnessing the accident – I thought the same! What a terrible shock it must have been to go through that! I’m very glad you’re doing okay, now. Take it easy and take care!

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    • I think I was definitely in shock after the accident, maybe I still am! I am much more nervous in the car now, whether I’m driving or not, occasionally I get flashbacks – not cool. Now, a few weeks later, it seems like it happened to somebody else, not me. Obviously I am still processing it all! Thanks for reading, and for your kind words!

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  9. Thanks so much for the follow! I’m so glad to see that you survived your ordeal and are recovering. A car wreck is definitely on the top of my ‘nightmare’ list. In your case, it made for a compelling and well written story. On another note: your designs are beautiful!

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  10. Oh my wow I know what you might of felt sort of I was in a skiing accident because a man decided to stop right infront of me n so I flipped rolling down the hill I might of had a concussion but to get to the point inal ost refused the hospital but I’m only 12 so not for the same reason and I think I even had the same neck brace I hated it as well as the broad that they place you on. It’s great to know your okay thank goodness all I thought was thank god it wasn’t worse. 🙂

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  11. Omg you are one lucky lady!! I had a car accident last year where I had to swerve to avoid hitting another car and ended up rolling my car over a hedge. It’s one rollercoaster I never want to go on again!! Hope you are recovering well and your fiance is spoiling you rotten! 🙂 x

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