Boilermaker Blog

Christmas Came Early


Last week I received one of those calls that sucks the oxygen out of the room. It was my wife. ‘Tim, Jack (my 18 year old son) was just in a car accident and its bad’. I ran to my car and drove in a as safe a manner as possible to the accident site. As I drove there I theorized in my head; what does the term ‘bad’ mean? Had Jack veered into a ditch, I knew the area in question had ditches that could swallow small nations. Could he have hit a tree, or, God forbid, some person along the road. I crossed the crest of the hill and in front of me I saw; flares, fire trucks, police cars, an ambulance, my car at facing the wrong direction on the road and a 14-wheel Coke truck. Yup, this looks like it’s going to fit the definition of bad.
I parked as close as I could and proceeded to the back of the ambulance where I assumed Jack was; I was pacing my breathing preparing myself for hat I might see.
Jack was sitting on the rear bumper of the ambulance, clothes muddy and eyes filled with tears. ‘Oh Dad, I’m so sorry I wreaked the car!’
‘Jack, they build more things every day; they don’t more who’s every day.’
The ambulance driver said: ‘Mr. Reed, he says he doesn’t want to go to the hospital and we can’t force to go, but with an impact like this…’ his voice trailed off.
I glanced at the car and for the first time saw the full extent of the damage. The entire passenger side was a concaved in like some evil giant had delivered a brutal kick. The side air bags waved like some ragged flags of surrender in the breeze. Oh yeah; the boy is going to the hospital.
I met my wife and son at the hospital after I dealt with the tow truck operator. ‘Mr. Reed, no doubt about it, this car is totaled!’
In the Emergency Room I learned my son at the stop sign looked right, left, and forgot to look right again; enter the tractor trailer. At the accident scene I had gotten a chance to look at the front of the truck; while it needed to be towed the overall frontal damage was pretty mild.
We spent about four hours in the hospital and Jack was pronounced fit to leave. Since the accident he has some pain where the shoulder harness grabbed and where his knees collided together as the car performed a massive ‘student body left’.
The following day I had to go to the salvage year to reclaim the contents of the vehicle. Smashed half-moon cookies and dinner rolls were lying on the passenger seat. I thought to myself ‘well, the rolls don’t look bad unless people have to pick safety glass out of their mouth after they eat them!’ I left them in the car. The body shop mechanic helped me open the trunk where I had put Christmas gifts I has purchased the previous week.
I turned to the mechanic and said to him; ‘My Christmas came early. This is my car; traditionally my son would have been driving the kid’s Toyota 4Runner.’ The Toyota rides extremely high and most certainly would have been sent tumbling (less air bags). So I received the gift of my son’s life prior to Christmas. Thank you God

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