Saturday, September 29, 2007

Wear Your Seatbelt, Kids

We had quite a scare on Thursday night. Amelia had to go to Jacksonville for a church meeting. It was her first time driving to Jacksonville alone, other than to the airport. At around 7:15 I got a call from a woman I didn't know telling me Amelia had been in a "little accident." In reality, not so little.

Amelia was in the left lane when a black car pulled ahead of her and started to merge into her lane. We think she must have been in his blind spot, so she honked the horn and started to slow down, but he kept coming. To avoid an accident, Amelia hit her brakes and steered to the left, where there was a grass and dirt median. The car slid and drifted to the side, then (as near as bystanders could figure out) one of the wheels hit a ditch and the whole car rolled. It did a complete revolution and landed on the hood. The other driver never stopped.

Amelia has slightly patchy memory regarding right after the accident. She's not sure how she got out of the car, but she knows other cars stopped right away to help her. One guy used his OnStar to alert the authorities who were there within minutes. A woman helped her calm down. The first guy to stop--he witnessed the whole thing--helped her out of the car and testified to the police that it had been the other guy's fault, no question.

Amelia, who had her seatbelt on, is amazingly unharmed. They had her go to the emergency room to make sure, but there are no broken bones or even any major bruises. She scraped her knee (probably crawling on broken glass as she got out of the overturned car) and has a bruise on her arm and a little stiffness, and that's it. For rolling the car at near 70 miles an hour, it's pretty amazing.

It was a tense drive for me down to Jacksonville to pick her up, and we don't know really how bad the car's damage is. Right now we're just happy she's ok. The worst injury she has is more fire ant bites from standing on the side of the road for so long.

The moral: wear your seatbelt. The police told her that if she hadn't been buckled in she could easily have died. We'll take the scratched knee and fire ant bites any day.

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