pt( 10) (a) car accidents*-

The first major accident took place in Buffalo NY. ,on Sept.18th 1968,at 11:45pm.I had just left INCO in Sudbury, where I was employed, has an underground miner, on my way to Chatham where I,d heard that there would be a major hiring at a major factory.I had a 7-week old son.I stopped in FT, Erie for a visit so that my family and my wife's family could see the baby.My birthday was on the 16th.A few of my old friends and my brother -in-law decided to take me to Buffalo to celebrate.We had done some bar hopping visiting a couple of our old haunts and ended up at Sam's. At Sam's, we met up with another old friend who informed the driver, that a girl, he had been trying to date for some time, was waiting to see him.The bar was at the other end of town.We left Sam's in a big hurry.Half way to the other bar. we ran into a speed trap.because of the high rate of speed we were traveling, we had no time to slow down. The driver then had to pass the slowing cars by going into the oncoming lane.when we reached the head of the line, the driver tried to cut back on his own side of the road.he then lost control.I was sitting directly in the drive, when I glanced at the speedometer it read 98 mph.after that things got confusing, very fast.The following is partly my memory, partly what was told me later and partly what I was able to piece together.We were tapped slightly by the lead car,as we tried to swing back into our own lane, slid sideways into the police cruiser,smashing the radar,attached to the back window of the cruiser,lunged forward into the first stopped car,a ford country squire station wagon,striking it on the drivers side rear,pushing everything into to the back seat,and rupturing the full gas tank,Causing a chain reaction that drove the wagon into the car in front,which in turn drove that car into the first stopped car . I was able to hear all of this, as I laY trapped in the back of our car.after the chain reaction we then careened back into oncoming traffic where we were broadsided by a priest in a caddy.I also learned that every car in the accident was a new model.The wagon had just been picked up at the dealers and had never seen its own driveway. I was lying on the back of the car when two little old ladies stuck their heads in the open back window when I saw them I asked:"if they thought this was a drive-in movie", insulted they left.Shortly after that the priest and one of the officers, tried to pull me out by the shoulders, because of the gas all over the road.My leg was mangled and caught in the springs of the back seat.I then shared few pleasantries, with both of them before passing out.A few days later I was able to trace my trip around the inside of the car by my bumps and bruises.I had a prefect imprint of the window crank just below my left shoulder on a my left arm,a knot on my fore head,matching up with a hair line fracture on the back of the skull of fellow sitting in the front seat,glass embedded in the top of my head from the broken interior light and,part of a broken tooth of the fellow in the back seat with me. in the top of my right shoulder and another perfect imprint of the window crank on my right arm.All of this traveling inside of the car was done with my leg caught in the springs of the back seat, which had been forced out on one of the impacts.My left leg was broken in six places below the knee.I believe in every situation, no matter how bad.there is some amusing things that happen, if you look for them.also things to be grateful for, this was no exception.I was certainly grateful that there was no explosion and fire with all the gasoline that came out of the wagon's gas tank! I saw humor, afterward in the expressions on the faces of the two old dears and my comments were quite good at that time and place.Three things happened in the emerge, that also fits into that category---one-- The emerge of the hospital I was taken to was one large room, with curtains around each bed.I was in the first bed.I had just got some of my sense back, when in walked a police captain.with more braid on his uniform than any army general I had seen pictures of.He bellowed out "where are my men".i could see him through the open curtain.I asked,"did we hit a cop car," he answered,"no two cops" I then passed out.--two--when I came to, the medical staff had just started to work on me, the nurse had just lifted part of my pant leg up and was about to cut my pants off me, when she saw I had come around again, she asked if it was OK.I thought for a second and said no, I had just purchased them a few hours earlier, her jaw dropped and a very confused look came over her face, I smiled and asked if she had ever heard that response before, the look on her face slowly changed and I told her a go ahead.The third event happened on the way back from x-ray, i asked the potter how badly the leg was broken,he gave me a hosp. answer,what makes you think it's broken,as i looked down at my foot at a 90 degree angle .to the right of my leg i answered oh if not then that explains why i keep walking around in circles. I quickly let him off the hook, by telling him i knew hosp policy and that he couldn't tell me.As i was leaving the emerge, for my room, someone asked my wife, who had come over to the hosp, by this time,if i was always this way or where my head injuries causing my reactions,she shock her head and told me to leave the staff alone.I looked back and smiled and saw an emerge staff shaking their heads and smiling.Some of the above details i remember,some where related to my wife on her daily visits for the three weeks i was in hosp.,some where put together from the other fellows and some came from my lawyer has a result of court papers from the lawsuit's The names of the fellows in the car were-Doug Hoover--Rick Sourwyne --Bill Preston--myself.Carl Swayze was the one we picked up at Sam's.Doug--Rick--and Bill,were in the front seat Carl was in the back seat with me.Doug,Bill and Rick all hit the windshield ,but were lucky enough to get their their arms up to protect their faces,Doug also had the hairline fracture in the back of the skull,when they pulled Doug out of the car, he was out ,the cop said "it looks like this has had it."Doug just then came to and had the few words to say.Unfortunately,a radio report pick up the fact one of us was dead.that report was heard by a family member,who pass it on,just before they were notified of the accident.The report only mentioned that there was a multiple car accident involving five young Canadians,and one had died,When the police notified our families,the only information they gave them was which hospital we had been taken to.nothing on our condition.On the way over the bridge,they were all wondering what they would find when they got there.It must have been terrible ride ,but with a very happy ending.Bill was sewn up and released--Rick likewise--Doug was sewn up and kept for observation for a day or two then released.Carl had a broken tooth and a sprained ankle,he went to work the next day.The other thing that happened that night was the officers arrested the wrong person and accused him of being the driver,when they tested him for blood alcohol he was under the limit,(i think we all were),when we hit the cruiser,we broke the radar,so they couldn't prove how fast we where going,so the only charge they could lay was illegal use of a double white line, a 50.00 dollar fine.I think i might have been the only one who know how fast we were going and i was never asked.The fine was leveed and paid before i knew what had happened. You see because of the head injuries,they couldn't operate on me for 72 hours,i had to lie,in bed for three days,with my leg in a splint and my backside full of pain killers.I was in never never land until late on the 21st of Sept in fact on the 22nd i asked my wife were she had been since the accident.i was told .in no uncertain terms right here, or home with the baby,the nurse bailed me out by telling her i was kept so dope up and with my head injuries i was lucky to remember their even was an accident.I spent three weeks in hospital, a few months in a wheel chair,several weeks on crouches and used a cane.
I was the only one married, it took me a year before I was able to go back to work.My second was son was born 377 days after the accident.So as you can see, even in tragedy.there is a lot of amusing-funny-interesting and even things to be very grateful for.Among these are, I could have been killed or left with permanent brain damage, I could have severed the main artery, losing my leg.broken my neck could have broken.Some one else could have been killed or permanently injured, No one from any of the other cars had to stay in the hospital over night.What treatment they needed was done at the seen.The two officers were only slightly injured, when they were knocked down, during the chain reaction, after the original impact.GOD was sure riding with us that night!