Sunday, April 5, 2009


Did I really say that my stress level was retreating? I should have known better. That simple statement immediately jinxed my day.

Yesterday included a milestone moment. One that every parent knows will arrive, yet no parent wants to experience.

Devan had his first car accident. And it was a doozy.

He and a friend were on their way back to work after lunch. In fact, I looked out the kitchen window right at the moment they both drove past the house, heading south, one right after the other.

Five minutes later, my phone rang, "Mom, please come and get me. Mike hit me." I can't describe the tone and feeling in his voice, or my immediate, and absolutely visceral reaction to hearing it. If more than two minutes elapsed between the time I got the call and hit the road, I'd be surprised.

The adrenaline kicked in before I was 1/4 mile away from the house. On a 35 mph road, I was flying at 65, flashers going, hands clenched on the wheel. When I arrived on the scene and jumped out, my knees nearly buckled.

I saw Mike's pickup from about 1/4 miles away; the front passenger corner mashed and crinkled, the tire at an obviously undrivable angle. As I got closer, I saw Devan's pickup. Sitting out in the field, everything on the driver's side from the back jump seat to the bumper pushed in and mangled. The driver's door was completely pushed in, frame warped, window gone. A trail of debris from the corner to the stopping point, probably some 150 feet.

A mom doesn't like to see such things.

His friend had a passenger, and Devan was driving solo. All three boys were walking around. Devan had a few cuts on his face, and the blood was already clotted and drying. The friend who was driving was shaking like a leaf, but bore no visible blood. His passenger didn't have any visible blood either, but was confused, unsure of where he was or what had transpired. I sat him down in the ditch next to my truck and called 911.

With the renewed surge of adrenaline running through my system, it took me a few extra seconds to figure out which intersection we were at. The 911 dispatcher had me running from vehicle to vehicle looking for leaking fluids. Finally, she informed me that sheriff's deputies and an ambulance were on the way. About that time, the friend's dad pulled up, so at least I had help keeping the boys calmed down.

The passenger was trying to talk to his mom on his cell, but wasn't getting anywhere because of the confusion. I asked him for his phone and talked to her. She was remarkable calm considering she was talking to a stranger, had talked to her son who couldn't remember anything, and had no idea where we were.

It must have taken a good 15 minutes for authorities to arrive, with paramedics right behind them. They checked out all the kids and loaded the passenger up for a trip to the hospital. They were certain he had a concussion, but weren't sure of the severity.

Devan's cuts and scrapes were from all the flying glass when his window shattered. Back home, while showering off the glass and blood, he found an impressive goose egg on his head. That explains the shattered side window.

All in all, the boys were extremely lucky. They were likely driving too fast and both earned tickets; Devan for failure to signal a turn and the other boy for following too close. The officer was extremely nice, more than fair, and even gave the boys a quick lecture about taking care.

Both pickups are likely totaled. I know Devan's is. Needless to say, in a match between a Ranger (Devan's) and a full-sized F150, the F150 won.

We haven't been able to get a complete report yet on how the other boy checked out at the ER. I'm going to place a call to the friend's parents this morning and try to find out.

Meanwhile, the fun will really start tomorrow when the insurance process starts.

I'm just thankful that everyone is ok and they weren't seriously hurt. Thinking back to the scene, it could have been much worse. There were three guardian angels putting in overtime yesterday.

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