Thursday, October 09, 2014

Terrible News

Tragic Accident Near My House

Before you panic, my horses and I are fine. We were not involved, although my horses may well have seen everything. The accident happened about 25 feet from the fence of their front paddock.

A car struck a tree on the other side of the road, spun around into one of my trees and then caught fire.  I, thankfully, was at school teaching at the time and not home. Otherwise, I am sure I would have been right there trying desperately to help.

My neighbor heard a huge bang and ran out. When he saw the flames, he got a small fire extinguisher and tried to put the fire out. Then he saw, enveloped in the airbags, the young woman driver. He tried to smash the car window with his fist as the flames started up again.

Meanwhile, my cousins and their contractor who were at my Aunt's house next door ran out. Everyone was frantically dialing 911 for police and fire. Their contractor grabbed the only thing left in the house--the house is for sale-- a bigger fire extinguisher and ran down the road to help.

Again, they could not put out the fire, but they used the extinguisher to smash the car side window. They could not get the door open because the car's battery, along with all kind of engine parts was somewhere strewn on the road. We're not sure what exactly happened, but the woman, who had regained consciousness and was begging for help, died soon after. Then the car was engulfed in flames along with my tree and potentially all the forested area beyond--which would have included my barn.

The fire department arrived too late to save the driver, but did hose down the car and the surrounding trees averting an even worse disaster--if things could be worse.

The woman's husband arrived at some point, speeding down the road. He was a police officer from the next Township over, and she was an elementary school teacher from the same Township.  I think my cousin overheard that he had been talking to her on the cell phone at the time of the crash and heard her screams. He knew she was somewhere on my road and had raced over--again, too late.

Even if someone had gotten the car door open, it would not have mattered since she was horribly pinned in the car. The police told my neighbor there was absolutely nothing he could have done.

My road was closed for at least three hours. Normally, I would have come home during that time, but I had a chiropractor appointment that kept me away until everything was cleared up. I saw the darkened pavement and the damaged tree but thought that perhaps the road department had been by to clear out the drain in that area. It was only when my neighbor rang the doorbell that I found out what had happened.

He didn't know my cousins were at the other house, but they had called me trying to get in touch. They figured I wasn't home, because the didn't see my car. But I guess they left messages on my cell phone--which I didn't have with me at the chiropractor.

Just as well. I don't think I wanted to see any of it, or know about it then. It was bad enough hearing the story afterward.

I slept very badly last night as a consequence and am still upset today. The woman was only 35, with a young son at home and a baby on the way.

The tree where she died is only about 200 feet from my bedroom window. All night, I keep feeling her still there.

I prayed for her and her family and will continue to do so.

There is nothing else to do.


  1. What a nightmare and a traumatic experience for all. It really brings home that there are no guarantees in life and we should be as kind as we can, every day. It might be our last:(
    It's too soon to think of a new tree but there may be some symbolism in a planting that will give comfort eventually.

  2. That's horrible. I'm so glad you weren't home to witness this tragic accident. I feel for the family. It must have been traumatic for the husband to be talking to her on the cell phone as the accident happened and hear her in distress. Try and put it out of your mind and maybe hang out with the horses, they always seem to give me comfort in bad times.

  3. that's truly awful.

  4. Anonymous9:13 PM

    Horrible - glad you weren't there as there was likely little you could have done to help.