Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Not Again...

Back in October 2010, the impetus for me getting the car I have now was a random and unpleasant event. I was driving along, minding my own business, when a tree branch fell onto my windshield, shattering it and scaring me pretty badly. That car was older and nearing the end of its useful life, so the damaged windshield was the straw that broke the camel's back. The Accord is the result. Not great car karma, but I got a beautiful new car as a result.

Today, the Accord had its turn at being randomized, and in a much more unpleasant way. To make a long story short, while at a complete stop at a red light, I was rear ended, and hard. It was a bright sunny morning, dry roads, straight stretch with perfect visibility. Rush hour traffic. No sudden stop. But for whatever reason, the driver behind me completely overlooked the need to stop, something that the other twenty or so cars stacked up at the light on a major road had remembered to do. Texting I suppose, but I have no way of knowing for sure.

I was hit hard enough to push me into the car in front of me, and it turned into quite a scene. By the time all was said and done, we had a fire truck, two ambulances, two cars of state troopers, and quite an audience. The car that hit me is probably totalled, mine has a lot of cosmetic damage (and I hope that is all), and the car in front of me has a dented rear bumper. Knowing how hard the hit felt, I am amazed at the fact that the rear end of my car doesn't look much worse than it does.

Much more important are the people, of course. The woman in the car in front of me was fine, having been bumped into not that hard. The woman in the car that hit us was bleeding from the forehead and very shaken up. I heard her telling the paramedics that she was pregnant. She was taken by ambulance to a hospital with a trauma center to be cautious. I had picked up a friend from dropping her car to be serviced, and was bringing her to work (we work together). We were going to swing by Starbucks on the way in, and she was digging for a gift card in her purse when we were hit. Her head hit the dashboard and dazed her. She ended being ambulanced to a nearby hospital strapped to a backboard because of the blow to the head and the potential for a neck injury. Scary stuff to see a friend in that position.

I thought I was fine, but when the ambulances were gone and things settled down somewhat, I got in my car to see if it was drivable, and realized I had a bit of a headache. Since I wanted to see if my friend was ok anyway, I drove myself to the hospital that she had been taken to and checked myself into the ER to get looked at as well. I know my head bounced hard off the headrest, and there is no sense not being careful about your head. Three hours later we had both been checked and cleared to go home. I had nothing major, and she might have a mild concussion, but nothing dramatic we hope.

(Day plus 2 update): I have a stiff neck and upper back, and have had some minor intermittent headaches and dizziness. My friend is experiencing the same, if a little more so than me. Given how hard we were hit, it could have been worse, and for that I am thankful.

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