Saturday, October 22, 2011

A sister.. A mother.. and a accident Part 2

  How many people do you know, that can't wait for Monday to start?  If you know me, then count me as one.  Monday could not get here fast enough.  Let me back track a little, to fill you in on Sunday night.

  My sister did not leave the accident site until very late.  The accident happened at 4:30am, she was leaving Daytona early in hopes to have lots of time to spend with the family, she was off work for the next three days and so was I.  We planned a super duper yummy dinner;  my wonderful Meatloaf with Creamy mashed potatoes, and peach cobbler for a tasty coffee side.  Who could ask for more.  Plans for the days ahead were;  going through some clothing my mother was tossing out {for my niece Patricia}, going through pictures and copying the ones Maryann did not have, making awesome meals together {Maryann is a self made chef ~ man can she cook}, and catching up on sisterly bonding stuff.  I still can not grasp that fact that in a few short days, she will be moving to Tennessee.  I am happy for her, and sad all in the same breath.

Senior Picture 1981

  When Mr Bell's invention did it's ringing after 5pm, I rushed to the telephone in quite a hurry.  From the first time the phone rang at 5:00 am when my sister called, I never put the phone far out of reach.  I walked around, paced, fed the dogs, birds, and horse with my cell phone in my pocket, and the house phone in my sweetie pocket.  Where ever I went, Mr Bell followed.  I attempted to answer the phone in a calm manner, but it was hard not to be out of breath.  Michael {my brother in law} had already called the house to let me know that my sister was released from the accident site.  Her car was looked over with a fine tooth comb. The accident site was classified as a hit and run, a felony, and as lady luck would have it; most of the examination was done on my sisters carShe was driving home and should arrive shortly.

  So when the phone rang, I just knew it would be my sister letting me know she made it home from the accident site,  safely.  The voice on the other end was my brother in law, Michael.  "Maryann made it home.  She broke down and is very up set and can't talk right now.  But she wanted to be sure that you knew she made it home safely.  She said she would call you later".  I was so happy to hear she made it home, and so upset that I was not there waiting to comfort her.  Just to wrap my arms around her and let her know everything would be alright.  The wait wasn't over yet.  She has to be exhausted, mentally and physically.   Not to say emotionally drained.  She needs to rest, and I would just wait until I could speak to her again.  Either way, I knew Monday morning called for a 2 hour trip.  Daytona Bound. 

  Sunday night ended with phone calls of nightmares.  Tears.  Worry.  Discomfort.  I had gotten part of the story from my sister, but you know that telling a story makes it real again.  So she relived the moments of that morning all night long.  My mother and I knew, Maryann wasn't getting any sleep Sunday night.   I wouldn't be able to sleep for weeks; nerveless get behind the wheel and drive.  I was shocked to learn that my sisters car was not towed, in stead of her driving it.  Then to learn that the car had to be cleaned by her, and not by the investigation team, was another shocker.   Let me try and explain some of the accident to you in my sisters words, while attempting to leave out the gory.   

Maryann {my sister} and Michael {her husband}

The Accident
{in the words of my sisters on our Monday morning visit}:

  "Picture I-4 on Oktoberfest, on a weekend.    Traffic is flowing just perfectly.  Cars are flying by you, because your cruise control is set on 62 MPH.  It's dark, not only because it is 4:30 in the morning but, because there are no highway lights through this whole section of I-4".  If you have driven through this section of I-4 to Daytona, you know exactly what I am talking about.  "If you aren't in a 'group' of cars flowing the highway, the road is very dark.  On either side of you is woods, and on the other side of the median {left side because my sister is driving from Dayton to Tampa} traffic is flowing in the opposite direction.  I have am driving in the middle lane, allowing faster traffic to pass on the left with no problem, and avoiding slower traffic that is driving the right lane.   Behind me, coming up fast,  is a semi and its headlights are flashing at me to get out of the way".  Standard "move over" signal.  "So, I turn on my signal light, and start to to move the car over to the right; allowing the semi to move right past me.  The semi blows right pass as well as a few other cars.  No problem, right?  Now, I am traveling in the right lane, seeing only tail lights, when my car runs over something.  Airborne and shocked my car lands on the front tires, the back tires pound down and I find myself in a 180 degree spin.  Holding on and trying to stop safely is my goal, as the card slides from the right outer lane, crosses three lanes while in a 180 spin, and stops in the ditch... on the left side.  Breathing hard, and in shock I realize that I'm facing on coming traffic while sitting in the ditch.  Before I know it, my driver door swings open and a man is talking to me; but I only see his lips moving and don't hear any words when he yells" ...  

Maryann {my sister} with her eldest daughter Patricia @ 2yrs old

   "Are you alright?  Don't move, OK?  Just sit in the car.  We are going to see what happened.  Stay right here, Alright"?  Two men ran to my sisters car, made sure she was physically alright; and went to see what a group of 5 car ran over.  "What did I hit"?  my sister remembers screaming  "What happened'?  she shouts "What did I run over"?  With a calm voice one man tells her "You're alright.  Everything is alright.  Just stay in the car, OK"?  My sister remembers her hands never leaving the steering wheel.  She said the was griping tight enough that when her hand did let go, she was sore from the wrists to the tips of her fingers.

   She could see the car that had passed her by, in the group with the semi, had hit a tree cause the front of the car was smashed in, and a fire had started in the engine of that car.  "I have to move my car" she shouts to the men  "It's going to blow up, I have to move".  One of the two men have already called the police; so the fire department, and EMS  were already in route to the accident.  "Don't move the car yet.  Alright?  Just sit in the car and don't go anywhere".  One of them told my sister "Could you see?" she asked "What did I hit"?  The two men already knew, but would not tell my sister to keep from further upsetting her, they could clearly see she was already in shock; telling her any details would have only made her mental condition worse.  "We are going to help the people in other car, but we will be right back.  Will you will be alright for a few minutes"?  He asked my sister "Yeah.  I'm alright"  she responded.   As the two men walked away, my sister remember hearing one of them say "I think she's in shock.  We better not leave her side for long, so she don't go and see what she ran over"  

  "The car that hit the tree caught fire in the engine area, it was really burning now and the tree was on fire.  The driver was trapped inside the car.  Two passengers were able to escape when the engine started burning but, great fear of the car exploding was mounting.  Both the men ran to the drivers window and worked hard to free the man before the car blew.  It was a loud Boom, a real loud Boom.   The driver was talking like he was confused.  Mumbling his words and he was in so much pain"  my sister said, so she did what she does best  "I talked to the driver and told him to lay down in the back of my car, he was holding his side and leaning on the hood of my car.  When EMS got there, he didn't want to go to the hospital.  Can you believe that he refused medical treatment?"  Just like my sister, worrying about everyone else.   "I was able to talk him into going to the hospital, I asked him if he wanted to be just a number in an automobile accident.  Just another faceless number for his family to recall".  Then she added  "The police came over and looked at my car, never saying anything just mumbling and nodding their heads.  One officer said 'yep. yep.  Right there.'  But no one ever said what I ran over or what they were looking for".   I just sat and listened with my mother.  When she was through talking, we moved onto something else.  When she was ready to unload some stress, my sister would tell us more.  Until then, we ate lunch.. Tuna fish  mixed with chopped lettuce and mayo on toasted bread with a side order of wavy potato chips.  Yummy.  Even though I am not suppose to have salt, I sure needed the chips at this point.  Oh, lets not forget the endless pot of fresh coffee.   You could see that Sunday was a sleepless restless night.  I noticed the puffiness under her eyes, the paleness of her skin, and the way she would just gaze of into space at times.  Most likely replaying the days events in her mind.  The whole time she was at the accident site she never went to the point of impact, never seeing what she ran over for herself and finding out what caused the accident.  It was a very good thing she didn't.  

"It was during this time, that I called you guys to let you know I wouldn't be coming".  My sister recalled

My sister Maryann and her youngest daughter Christina

I don't know how she was able to get into her car and drive home.  With the details that she told me, I would have never been able to drive with ease.  Nerveless drive right after the accident.  She had us on stand by, in case it turned out her car steering or wheels were damaged, we would have just brought the flat bed trailer and towed it to her house.  In explaining the accident, there is so much detail and I am trying to find the words to explain just what happened and what caused the accident.  

I am sure the words will flow through me, and I will be able to bring light to the accident, the person who caused the accident, and the victim.    A story can only be told when, all the facts are in.  With this being an ongoing investigation, I don't want to leak out the unknown.   Choosing the correct words and placing them in the proper order is important, for both my sister and the victim. 

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