Sometimes bad things happen

Sometimes bad things happen

But it’s always good when we can walk away and tell the story

It will never happen to me.

We often think that about traumatic events; a natural disaster, a crime or a vehicle collision.

We drive past a crash and think, “idiot drivers, that will never happen to me, I’m careful.” At least that’s what I always thought.

But the thing is, sometimes – despite our best efforts – bad things happen.

On Oct. 17 while driving east on Hwy 11 at about 6:55 a.m. in the thick darkness a big buck – running at full speed – hit my driver door like a torpedo while I was driving about 100 km/hr.

I felt the force of the huge buck hitting my driver’s door. Then I felt the force of the side airbag go off. Then I felt the force of the airbag in my seat and then the force of the front airbag. I was tossed around at a high rate of speed like a Raggedy Ann doll.

The impact of the collision threw my car off the road. When my car stopped the lights were still on but the motor wasn’t running and the car’s 911-assist voice came on (can’t remember verbatim) and said something to the effect of, “sounds like you have been in a collision calling 911.”

Every airbag in my car went off, the driver’s side and passenger side airbags along the doors, all side skirt airbags. I didn’t know there were airbags in the seats but both the airbags in the driver and empty passenger seat went off and my seat came apart as it was designed to do in a crash. I was never so thankful for Ford’s seemingly “overkill” with airbags everywhere and all of their safety features than I was after that crash.

Airbag dust was floating inside the car but I also noticed smoke coming from under the hood.

At first, I couldn’t move because the wind was knocked out of me and I was just plain stunned at what had happened. About 10 vehicles drove past, not stopping. Perhaps it was too dark for them to see that I was still in the crashed vehicle. In that moment panic set in while I thought “I’m going to burn alive.” Eventually, a young guy stopped and offered assistance. He told me his name but I can’t remember and to him thank you kindly for stopping.

The driver’s door wouldn’t open. The side skirts and airbags on the passenger side blocked the door and the passenger door wouldn’t open at first.

The ambulance took me to Red Deer hospital. In emergency they first did an ultrasound to check for internal bleeding. They kept me in a brace all day suspecting that I had a fractured neck. The X-ray was difficult to read so they did a CAT scan, which showed no break.

When I found out my neck wasn’t fractured and they took off the brace and let me move I just about jumped out of the hospital bed feeling like I had a new lease on life.

I really have to hand it to the Red Deer hospital staff. They were on everything right away. They took every precaution in case my neck was fractured; they had three staff turn me over or move me when needed. I’m thankful for their expertise and professionalism.

I’m also thankful to the big moustached sheriff from Blackfalds Integrated Traffic Services who gave me a speeding ticket last month on that same highway for going faster than I should have. Because of that hefty ticket, I have since paid attention to my speed thinking, “I can’t afford another one of these.” (You sometimes don’t notice your speed in newer smooth riding vehicles.)

Because of that ticket, I’m more mindful of my speed. I wouldn’t have wanted to be speeding and experience a crash like that.

I appreciate my son Gordie for leaving work right away in Red Deer and coming to my aid.

I’m also thankful for my Black Press colleague Stu Salkeld who stepped in right away to get the papers to press for me because of course it had to happen when I was on deadline.

Oh, one more thing, I had never felt so vulnerable than when the Alix firefighters and Red Deer EMS tended to me at the scene. I hurt, didn’t feel good at all and my blood pressure was 218 over something (I can’t remember the bottom number). But I do remember thinking, “If a reporter comes along and takes my photo I will take his/her camera and render it unusable.”

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta launches COVID vaccine lottery with million-dollar prizes to encourage uptake

The premier says the lottery will offer three prizes worth $1 million a piece, as well as other prizes

The City of Red Deer sits at 249 active cases of the virus, after hitting a peak of 565 active cases on Feb. 22. (Black Press file image)
Red Deer down to 119 active COVID-19 cases

Province identifies 179 new cases Saturday

Pictured here is Corrie Fryters, a resident of Stettler Points West Living, with one of the care packages recently distributed via a project by the Town of Stettler, the County of Stettler and the Stettler Public Library. photo submitted
Residents at Points West enjoyed a busy Seniors Week

Highlights included cake, some live music and special gifts from the community

Member Terry Parsons’ custom built track vehicle.
Forestburg’s Area 53 Racetrack gears up for action-packed season

Site will also host a portion of the ‘Miles of Mayhem’ event in July

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

Most Read