I can't stop thinking about it. About how bad it was. About how I heard it all. About how it took Lindsey 1-2 minutes (or maybe it just felt that long) to pick up the phone and tell me she was okay and where she was. About how when I was a mile away from the scene I could see the flashing police, ambulance and fire truck lights. How I tried so hard to keep my speed at 45 mph for that mile, but found myself having to constantly slow down. About how her car looked.....
Linds called for a phone number. I gave her the phone number and we were talking about envelopes for her invitations when she said, "I don't think they're stopping." and then "Oh no... Oh My Gosh!" over and over and over and then I heard the crash. I was holding Naomi so I didn't scream.. or at least I tried not to. I kept repeating, "Lindsey?! Lindsey?! Lindsey!" I heard rustling and moving and then she picked up the phone and told me she was in an accident. I asked her if she was okay - she said she was and I heard her telling other people she was fine. I asked where she was and she told me. I told her I would be right there.
As I was hanging up I heard Jaren pull into the driveway. I was so glad because I didn't know what I was going to do with Naomi. She was tired and was almost ready to go down for her last nap. I was freaking out. I always thought I'd be calm and fine in scary situations and depending on the situation I think I am. But not this one. Maybe it was because I heard it? Because it was Lindsey? I don't know.
Jaren walked in and I said, "Lindseys been in an accident. She's at this intersection. I'm going." I tried to hand him Naomi before he had even taken his coat off. He told me to calm down. I tried. I put Naomi on our bed under the fan - that always keeps her entertained for as long as I need to get ready for something. So I changed and left.
I was speeding the whole way there... I'll admit it. I tried not to - but 45 and 50 mph just isn't fast enough when I knew I needed to get there. I called my Dad and told him what was going on. I knew Lindseys fiance who is a Deputy would be there and have the situation under control just fine... but there is no way I could just sit at home and wait to hear what was going on when I was less than 10 minutes away from it.
The last mile was the worst. I could see all of the flashing lights and the speed limit was 45 mph. I stayed within 45 and 50 which was quite the accomplishment as I was going a bit faster on the other roads.
My first thoughts when pulling up to the accident? Well, I saw the van first and thought, "Oh no, it's worse than I thought" For some reason I thought it was a little fender bender. I thought she was in town at an intersection where the speeds are 25 or 35 mph. So, realizing it wasn't that is probably why I started freaking out even more. I jumped out of my car and started to jog towards the accident looking for the ambulance Lindsey said she was in. I was stopped by a cop and told not to run. I said "Okay, I'm sorry, my sister was in this accident." He pointed me around a giant bush and told me if I knocked on the back door they would let me in.
When I rounded the bush I saw Lindseys car. I couldn't believe she picked up the phone, walked away from it; that she was okay! Her car was totaled. The entire front end was smashed and smooshed and all over the place. As calmly as I could I walked up to the ambulance and knocked on the back door. An officer stepped out from the side and said, "This door is open." So I stepped in and saw Lindsey and started crying right away. She was fine! Totally calm. Stood up and hugged me.
Aren't I supposed to be the strong older sister? I've been trained in CPR, First Aid and all that stuff a few times. I've been in my own accident - I knew what to do in this situation. But all of it went out the window when it was my baby sister. I'd like to think I'm still insanely hormonal from having Naomi. The previous 2 days were oddly emotional for me so I know I was more of a mess than I might have been a week from now.
She showed me the big gashy scratch on her left hand. Said, "I think I chipped my tooth," and showed me. She did. The same one that I chipped years and years ago on the trampoline. But I just thought that - didn't say it. Maybe I'll show her later.
Nate was there and he was calm as well. I knew that would be a given seeing what he does everyday. Why was I the only one shaking and trying not to cry and freaking out?? I'm blaming it on the hormones. I'm quite embarrassed as to what a mess I was.
Linds was filling out the accident form. I offered to do it for her, but she wanted to do it herself. But as officers kept coming in and out she was distracted in answering questions. So I took it and wrote as she told me exactly what happened. When everyone left out of the ambulance she showed me the scratches from the seat belt on her hip. It looked like it stung. We were kicked out of the ambulance and it was COLD. Linds didn't have a jacket, just a small sweater. Nate got her a blanket and a beanie. We stood over by her mangled car and finished writing the report.
She wanted her orange out of the front. It was covered in glass. Maybe there was even some embedded in it? I don't know. Everything was a mess. Airbags out. What is weird is that this used to be my car (see post about a pervert with a rock) before I was married. It's been 3 years since it was mine, but it was weird still. The Volkswagen has given us nothing but trouble. Breaking down all the time and constantly needing things replaced. It was a lemon. After the situation sinks in and Lindsey iss fine we can laugh about how my Dad is relieved to be rid of the car.
I went around and took a bunch of pictures with my phone. I almost brought my camera - I wish I had. As the adrenaline was wearing off Linds said her jaw was hurting and she could feel it in her neck and upper back. When I talked to her this morning she told me she had a giant bruise on her knee and her hand hurts to open and close. Her hips are sore from the seat belt and she said her shoulder is too. Big head ache and her neck is in a lot of pain from the wiplash. She is so lucky. If you call it that.
She is going to the doctor today to get everything checked out and get her hand X-Rayed since it's hurting her pretty bad. Everyone who saw the car said she was lucky to be alive. That had she not been wearing her seat belt it could have been fatal.
I needed to write down my feelings and what happened. It's such a sobering thing. Something like this. Especially when it's family. I've never told anyone this... but I've always had a fear of losing my sister. More than the regular, "I hope nothing bad never happens to her." And yesterday came way too close. Maybe that was part of why I was such a basket case?
I guess I didn't say what exactly happened. She was driving down a highway going 50 mph and was coming to an intersection. There are houses on the sides of the road and there was a church to her right of the intersection. She saw a van going really fast to her right - she says probably around 60 towards the intersection. She slowed a little but said, "You know how some people drive really fast and then slow down really fast at a stop sign? I thought she was going to do that." Linds looked for break lights and saw none. That's when she knew what was going to happen but it was fast. The lady hit the intersection first and Lindsey clipped the rear of her car and it spun Lindsey around and off the road into a fence and bush. The van flipped completely over the bush and landed, wheels down, on the other side. The other lady had a casserole all over her car. She must have been taking it to someone and was in a hurry. She has a local license plate, I'm sure she is from around here. She had to have known there was a stop sign there. I'm not originally from around here and I know there is a stop sign there. My guess? She was speeding, figured she'd just blow the stop sign because she's done it before. She might have seen Lindsey and figured she'd beat her so she floored it - or she didn't see her. Or who knows, maybe she didn't know there was a stop sign there, but I doubt it. She was taken away in an ambulance. She was saying that her back was burning. I don't know how she is, but I hope she is okay - there was a toddler seat in the back.
Looking back at these pictures there's no doubt in my mind that she was watched over and protected.
Here is her car
Here is the other lady's car
Lesson to take home? Wear your seat belt and don't run stop signs!