Seriously, I had 5 years of bad luck. At least when it came to accidents. And every single one of them involved my boyfriend (Skyler)'s family. Shall we count them down?
2005- The Curvy Road
It was a Wednesday night. Skyler and I were both 16. Fresh young drivers. We had been at a concert at another church. When we got back to our home church, I realized I had left my car keys there. The church was only about 15 minutes away. Skyler offered to drive me there and back.
It was really dark and foggy that night. Skyler decided to take the "back roads" to get there. (For those of you unfamiliar with back roads- these are those middle-of-nowhere back ways to get somewhere that are usually faster with less traffic but the whole time you're thinking "What genius built these roads??" because it's curve after curve and why couldn't they just make a straight line?).
Anyways, recap... dark, foggy, curvy roads. Skyler was driving at a decent speed but, being unfamiliar with the road, he didn't see this massive curve. As in, one of those, "we'll just call it a curve even though you should have to use a blinker since it's a 90 degree direction change". At the last minute, he threw the wheel to turn and we ended up sliding into some sapling trees. I know, you shouldn't throw the wheel like that, but it was either hit from the side or hit head on. I'll take the side.
Oh and did I mention that this is his family's BRAND NEW CAR. As in, didn't even have a license plate yet. He's freaking out, I'm freaking out. He gets out to assess the damage. The driver's side backseat door is smushed in and that little triangle window was busted out. A lady saw us, stopped, and asked if we needed her husband to pull us out. Skyler said we were ok and we were. No damage to either of us. Just a messed up car.
So we were able to pull out of the ditch and drove to the church where my keys were (we were almost there anyways). I found my keys and Skyler asked for a phone to use (no cell phone reception out there). He called his parents, told them what happened, then called my parents and explained to them. From there we drove (REALLY SLOWLY) back to his house, which is closer than our church.
His parents assessed the damage and then his mom drove me back to the church where my mom was waiting. My mom drove my vehicle home. I think I even made her drive me for a few days because I didn't want to drive anywhere. But anyways, that was our FIRST year of bad luck.
2006- The Suburban vs the SUV- Part 1
I'll never forget this moment. Skyler and I are sitting in his room watching a movie. His mom walks in and says, "Courtney, I hit your truck." (I drive a 2001 Ford Escape- SUV). "What?" I say. "I hit your truck."
A little map on things. Skyler's house has a long gravel driveway that turns to the right at the end to go into the garage. His parents park in the garage, Skyler off to the side. I usually parked back on the gravel behind his dad (who parked on the left). There's a good 2 car length between my vehicle and his (which, by the way, is the car from the story above). Anyways, when his mom reverses, she has to cut a little earlier than normal when I'm there. Well she said she didn't look and forgot I was there. She reversed. Right into my passenger door.
Anyways, after she told us what happened, Skyler and I went outside to assess the damage. My heart stopped when I saw my truck. At least I think it did. My entire passenger door was crushed in. It bent out at a funny angle. The window was still intact but there would be NO rolling it down. Oh and the suburban? A little scratch on the bumper. Yep, that's it.
"Do you want me to call your dad?" his mom asked me. I just nodded my head. She called him and I showed him when I got home later that day. Oh and this all happened right before I started my senior year. It was still drivable so I was able to get around until we could get all the parts in to fix it. But when it rained, well, let's just say no one better be in the passenger seat. Poor Kelsey. A girl who just happened to be sitting there when it rained. I took a turn and GUSH. Water all over her.
We did get it fixed, but I had to drive our car to start my senior year. My parents alternated driving each other and we carpooled until it got fixed. I was SO glad when we got it back!
2007- Four Wheeler Riding
Freshman year of college. Thanksgiving break. Skyler and some of his guy friends were going 4-wheeler riding. Well, I wanted to go too. So I pouted until I got to go. We were going out to some woods area and it had recently rained so it would be extra muddy. The perfect mud-riding weather.
By this point, the car from story #1 is now the one Skyler drives since he goes back and forth to college. So their truck is what we used to put the 4-wheeler in. We had ramps to drive the 4-wheeler up into the truck bed. His dad's one request... don't bust out that back window driving into it.
So we're driving to the area we're going to ride at. Another back roads. These roads are pretty narrow. So this car comes FLYING at us, taking more than their share of the road. Skyler scoots over to avoid getting hit and the passenger side mirror hits a mailbox. It swings in and SHATTERS the passenger window. Where I'm sitting. And the thing was I saw it coming, but I didn't have enough time to react. Skyler said he looked at me and I looked at him. Then he saw the window shatter in behind me.
We pulled over on the side of the road (well really into the ditch since there is no shoulder on the road. His friends stopped too and they came over to help. Skyler called his dad to tell him what happened (hey, all he said was don't bust the BACK window!). Skyler's friends helped dust glass of of me and the truck. We get all the glass off of me and we continue on to go mud-riding.
You just think this story is over. But WAIT. There's more! We go mud-riding, have a GREAT time. Getting stuck, caked in mud. We were nearing the end of the day (one of the guys had to leave- yea, I was the only girl). One of the guys got REALLY stuck. So another guy went to get his truck to pull the guy out.
Skyler and I were both on one 4-wheeler, I was sitting behind him. We were driving around the area waiting. There was this hill. Skyler MIGHT have made it up this hill by himself. But there were 2 people on this 4-wheeler. We got almost 2 the top and you could feel the front wheels come off the ground. I started seeing the sky. I held on tighter to Skyler and we flipped backwards. Onto me. So I had the 4 wheeler's weight plus Skyler's weight crush onto me. At least I was smart enough to tuck my head into his back. Because I just think of how if I didn't I could have snapped my neck.
Anyways, the 4 wheeler landed right side up, with only a dent in one of the bars. Skyler was thrown to one side, I rolled to the bottom of the hill. All I felt was PAIN. Horrible pain. Skyler came running over to me as well as his friends. I could only moan, it hurt so bad. He held my face and just kept telling me to look at him. Then I see panic on his face. "Courtney, you're bleeding. Your mouth, your nose, you're bleeding." He helped me sit up and I touched my face. Sure enough, blood on my hand. His friends run over and they all start checking me to make sure I still have all my teeth, "how many fingers am I holding up", that kind of stuff.
By this point, the pain has subsided some. I no longer hurt EVERYWHERE. I can just localize the pain to my ribs and my face. Also, the guy with the truck is back. He had some napkins and I stop the bleeding. My lips are really puffy. I look terrible. Blood and mud smeared all over me. Meanwhile, Skyler calls my mom and tells her what happened. She tells him to get me back to his house and my dad would meet us there.
So we load up and start heading back. Skyler tries to cheer me up. I'm not mad. I just can't laugh because it hurts so bad. I call my dad and tell him not to worry, that I think I'm ok. He says he'll just turn around then. "Dad, you know mom will kill you if you don't come look at me with your own two eyes." So we get back to Skyler's house. My dad, his dad. Waiting outside for us. Skyler gets a lecture about taking care of me. I go inside and attempt to clean up. Then we go home and I sleep for hours!
I still had a puffy busted lip for a few days. And my ribs hurt for a while. A week later, Skyler was visiting me at my dorm. I had stretched across the couch giving him nowhere to sit. So he sat on my chest. I yelled because it hurt really bad. But then it started getting better. My mom took me to get an x-ray just in case. Nothing wrong, but I may have dislocated a rib during the accident and it may have relocated when Skyler sat on me. I still get nervous riding a 4-wheeler up a hill, particularly riding with other people. I'll usually get off and walk up the hill, letting them drive it.
2008- The Suburban vs. the SUV- Part 2
I know what you're thinking. She hit you again? Yes. Yes she did. I had started parking in the grass but Skyler's dad always gave me a hard time about it. So I thought, surely she wouldn't hit me again. So I started parking in my original spot. Skyler and I were out in town. His mom called him. He put it on speaker like he always does. He would later tell me he knew something was wrong before she even told us.
She simply said, "I did it again. I hit Courtney's truck." My stomach dropped. Not again! So when we get back to his house, I jump out the car to see the damage. It's not as bad as last time. She hit my headlight (which didn't bust) which pushed in my fender. Totally drivable.
I get it fixed a little later. When they do go to fix it, they find that some frame part is bent in. They were surprised my AC still worked. This was bent from some time Skyler backed into my with their truck and the hitch hit me. It was right where I had a front plate. My front bumper is plastic so it popped right back out. I never knew anything was wrong! But we got that fixed too. Good as new :)
2009- The Accident to End All Accidents
First I'm going to start this story with how I tell my mom stories from work. Everyone is ok now. Maybe not at the time, but we're all fine now.
I was on vacation with Skyler and his family (his dad, mom, brother, and sister). We went to Disney World! Anyways, we stayed in their camper the whole time. We were on our way home, on the interstate in Florida, about an hour or so from Pensacola. Skyler's dad was driving their Suburban, pulling the camper. Skyler's mom was in the passenger seat (she normally drove but was tired). They had 2 bucket seats in the back seat and then a bench seat in the very back. Skyler's brother was in the driver's side bucket seat, his sister in the passenger side. Skyler and I were on the bench seat. Skyler, his sister, and I were not buckled in. Their weinie dog was also with us. I had been alternating between laying down with my feet in Skyler's lap and sitting up leaning against the window.
Skyler's brother was watching a movie on the DVD player that routes the sound through the whole car. Skyler was watching a movie on his laptop. His sister was sleeping with the dog in her lap. I had just switched to a sitting up with my pillow against the window sleeping spot. His dad went to switch lanes. A car horn on the movie went off. His dad thought it was someone honking at him and jerked the wheel back. I remember hearing his mom scream to straighten out, do this, do that. And then I remember going sideways.
I don't really remember much of the actual flipping. But from witness accounts, we flipped several times, the camper with us for about 1 or 2 rotations (before the hitch was RIPPED from the suburban). Then we flipped a few more times. Luckily it was one of those huge medians. We didn't go into the other direction's traffic.
When we righted, Skyler was screaming "Courtney are you ok, are you ok?". "Yea, I'm fine." Thinking back, he was the most rational one of all of us. He looked around the car before yelling, "Where's Tayler (his sister)?" His mom just kept saying "I don't know, I don't know." No one was really panicking but Skyler.
All of the windows (except Skyler's and the back) were busted out. I leaned out my window and saw Tayler's feet sticking out from under the suburban. I never freaked out. They think I was in shock. I just told Skyler she was under the suburban. I've never seen him move that fast. He didn't open any doors, just flew out one of the broken windows to my side. He grabbed her ankles and pulled her out, like she weighed nothing. And then he did something I don't think any of us would have thought to do. He felt for her pulse. And then sighed when he felt it. By this point things had settled in to his mom and she was out of the car over to Tayler. She was just yelling for Tayler to wake up, Tayler be ok. An ER trauma doctor just happened to witness the accident and ran over to help. Lots of people stopped to help. He had some people hold Tayler's head in place. She did start waking up, just moaning, but she doesn't remember any of this.
I don't know why, but I never got out. I could have. I wasn't really hurt. I just never moved. Didn't speak much. Just sat there. Skyler and his mom were handling the questions, picking up stuff (which there were SO MANY PEOPLE who helped with this part, collecting all our stuff along the highway and median). Skyler's brother's foot got pinned between the roof and the left shoulder of the driver's seat. His dad was unconscious in the front seat.
A man with the National Guard (I remember, he was in uniform) stopped and came and sat in the suburban with us. He just kept asking questions. I know he wanted to calm us, keep us alert, but I just remember thinking, "Quit asking me questions, I don't want to talk."
The ambulances, fire trucks, helicopters all arrived. I remember seeing them start an IV on Tayler while she laid on the ground. It was really hot that day. They left with her first, since she was most critical. She flew by helicopter to a critical hospital in Pensacola. They also pulled his dad out and he went by helicopter there too.
They had to cut the suburban to free Skyler's brother's foot. I guess it was good I was there because I did become rational enough to talk to him, keep him calm. Then they took him to one of the ambulances. Skyler and his mom both had to get strapped down to ambulances too, even though they kept telling the paramedics they were ok. And someone got the dog. He was running down the interstate, scared. He tried to bite them. He never bites. But they took him to a dog hospital for us.
I'm still in the back seat. Never got out. They did come to ask me how I was. I told them my chest hurt. Because it really did. Hurt bad. They hooked me up to monitors and watched my heart. I kept thinking, "I'm 20 years old. I'm not having a heart attack." A fireman came and put one of those collars on my neck. He sat with me. Then I realized they weren't going to let me crawl out of the car. Nope. They were going to CUT me out. I tried to tell them to let me out but they said they couldn't. My dad would later say that they just wanted to use their cool jaws of life tools.
Ozzy. That was the fireman's name. They had to put a sheet over us to protect us from the metal and glass. I remember they kept telling him to keep his hands on the collar. He wasn't supposed to let go. It was really loud. They finally got part of the frame cut up, and cut out one of the bucket seats. They strapped me to this chair thing. It had a straight back and strapped around my thighs. It HURT. They lifted me to the edge of the car and then slid me onto a backboard. I kept begging them not to drop me. At one point the backboard tilted to one side. Someone righted it though.
Here's a few pictures Skyler took with his phone at the accident:
And of course he just had to take a photo of himself in the ambulance:
They put me into an ambulance with Skyler. His mom and brother were in another one. The paramedic started an IV on me. I told him he was pretty good considering we were moving at the time. He gave me some baby aspirin. I asked him how I was supposed to swallow that. He told me to chew it and let it dissolve.
The ride to the local hospital was short. 5 minutes maybe. I would later find out that the 5 minute ambulance ride would cost $700! Thank goodness for insurance. We got to the hospital and all these nurses and staff were running around me, taking vital signs, asking me questions. "Who are you with?" "My boyfriend and his family." "Good thing we didn't put you two in the same room. You've got tachycardia (fast heartbeat). Don't need you seeing him and your heart beating faster." Ha. Funny nurses :)
I got the stinking collar off my neck. Then the doctor was like, "Ok you can sit up." Yea, not as easy as you think. I had to get the nurse to help me, I was so sore. They did an EKG (heart study) on me. I think they did a chest xray too. I was ok though. I did have some glass in my hand. You know, no one ever did anything about that.
Skyler was discharged first. He wandered from room to room checking on me, his mom, and his brother. I finally got discharged and had to ask for something to get the glass out of my hand. I would just do it myself. I had to see the insurance people too. They wanted my insurance info. But I wasn't driving. Apparently Florida is a no fault state. Still don't see why they needed my info. Wasn't my car!
Skyler had called my parents while we were still at the scene. I called them and told them to just go to Pensacola. We would meet them there. I was fine. They gave me a prescription for some pain meds and muscle relaxers. Skyler's mom had a broken toe. His brother had a sprained ankle. Skyler was really sore.
I was walking around barefoot. Some nurse stops and was like "You can't be barefoot. You need shoes." Yea. Because the first thing I thought to grab were my shoes. They gave me some gripper socks. Man, those things were comfy.
They discharged us all. Now we just had to figure out how to get to Pensacola. We tried every car rental service we could. No cars. We were about to resort to a Taxi when one of their relatives called and had heard what happened and would come pick us up. They took longer than I thought but it was a free ride. Skyler's mom was really anxious to get going so we could get to the other hospital. She couldn't find out much other than that her husband and daughter were stable.
My family ended up beating us to the other hospital. From Louisiana. Yea, they FLEW. My mom told the people she was Tayler's aunt and was able to go in to see her. She called me and was told me to put Skyler's mom on the phone. Skyler's mom was able to talk to Tayler for a few minutes, know that she was ok. She was in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Skyler's dad was on a regular floor. My mom kept us updated until we could get to the other hospital.
I can't remember who we saw first. But his dad had a few broken vertebrae in his neck. He just kept telling me and my parents that he was so sorry. But they weren't mad and neither was I. I remember helping get blood and stuff off his face. How nice that the hospital didn't even help clean him up. He doesn't remember that though.
His sister had a broken vertebrae in her back, a broken pelvis, and a cut in her spleen. But the didn't have to do anything. Here's a picture Skyler took of her when we first saw her. At least she smiled for the picture :)
For being thrown out a car, she looks pretty good!
So anyways, that night my family, Skyler and his brother (along with SEVERAL family and friends who came down to help) went to Walmart to get a few things. Like flip flops for me. Yay! Finally got shoes! We checked into a hotel and finally got some rest.
It was so hard to move in the morning. I was sore all over! We got several vehicles that people had brought and went to the wreck yard to salvage what we could. It was the first time for us to see everything afterwards. Pictures speak more so I'll just show you some of the aftermath:
No airbags deployed.
Where the hitch ripped off:
Yea, pretty gruesome:
Had to use a forklift to lift the roof off:
My blanket was saved:
And so was my body pillow:
Loaded down car:
We left later that evening, bringing Skyler and his brother home. His mom and grandparents were staying in Florida. His grandparents, by the way, were in Oklahoma when this happened. They got pulled over like 5 times on the way. Never got a ticket. Most cops understood. Only the Texas police were meaner about it. "Only giving you one warning" kind of stuff. His grandpa is a police officer though.
Anyways, a few days later his dad came home. Had to wear a neck brace for a few months. Still has a few problems but is much better now. About a week later his sister came home. She was in a wheelchair for about a month. Then had to use a walker. She's fine now. You'd never know anything happened. She did enjoy getting to miss a bunch of school :) She even plays basketball and everything now.
So that's my story of my 5 years of bad luck accidents.
Have you been in an accident? What's the worst accident you've been in?