“Ryan and Keith picked us up at our dorm room and took us to a nightclub. We waited there for Jim, a friend of mine to arrive. We stayed there for approximately two hours. Afterwards we went back to Jim’s dorm to listen to records and sit outside on the swings. This took about half an hour. We were supposed to be taken home by Ryan and Keith, Jim’s friends. But Ryan’s car was out of gas. We then had to ask Jim if he would drive us home. Jim drove and Ryan decided to come along for the ride. Going down the highway Sue fell asleep and the rest of were just talking and listening to the radio. Then I saw headlights in front of us and screamed out, “OH MY…” and we were hit. I felt the car seat crash into my legs.”
We were in the eastbound lane and Frank N. Stein after having one too many drinks was in the eastbound lane going in the wrong direction. We were hit head on with each car traveling at speeds over 60 MPH. Samantha later told me, “I remember screaming for help. I saw no one else in the car. I told the paramedics. You have to get my friend out. They found Sue crumpled underneath the dashboard and thought she was dead. Then they heard her moan so they put her and me into the first ambulance.”
When I awoke I was told that Samantha broke one leg crushed her other one and fractured her right arm. Ryan broke his back but fortunately did not sever his spine. Jim was killed instantly.
Samantha went on to say, “In the emergency room I remember being wheeled in on a stretcher and looking around. At first I saw Sue on the bed next to me with an oxygen mask over her face. That’s all that I saw. Later, I remember seeing Sue again she had nothing covering her chest and I thought, ‘Sue would be really embarrassed’. Then they put shock things on her chest and I remember thinking, 'Sue is in really bad shape'. I never thought she was dead or would die although everyone else did. Later on the stretcher to my left was a guy with a blue shirt on. He was really big and would not cooperate. He was cursing and fighting. I learned that it was Frank N. Stein, the guy who hit us.”
The tiny hospital did not have the necessary equipment to treat a patient such as myself. At 4:30 AM the Chaplin called my family in Florida. He told my dad what had happened and that I would probably not make it to the bigger hospital. My father calmly handed the telephone to my mother and proceeded to faint. My mother asked the Chaplin if there were others in the car with me. After he responded affirmatively my mother was told how they were. Some were better and some were worse than my present state. My mother then told him to call my aunt because her son-n-law, Jeff was an orthopedic surgeon at the bigger hospital and would be able to get the best neurosurgeon for me. My parents frantically packed told my sister’s about the accident and caught the earliest available flight. They did all of this with robot-like actions making it to the airport on time to catch an early morning flight.
Meanwhile, Jeff and his wife Dawn were in the hospital waiting for me. When I arrived they wheeled me into the emergency room right in front of cousin, Dawn. She didn’t recognize me. I was bleeding everywhere and my head was ripped open and swollen to at least three times its normal size. Jeff went into the emergency room when he realized it was me they had wheeled in. When he came out later all he could do was shake his head no.
My parent’s plane was scheduled to stop in Dallas, Texas at about 10:30 AM for a short layover. My mom had to make the hardest phone call of her life. She called the hospital to see if I was still alive. She got the good news that I was still hanging on to life. At 12:30 PM my parents arrived at the hospital and found my grandfather crying and my grandmother silently shaking her head. They were then permitted to go see me. What they found wiped out any hope they were holding onto. They learned that I suffered five cracked ribs, a broken left wrist, two pelvic fractures, a crushed jaw, three skull fractures, cuts everywhere and most significantly a brain stem injury.
My head was shaved so the doctor’s could get out all of the glass. My neurosurgeon, took my parents aside and told them on a scale from 0-10, 0 being perfectly healthy and 10 being D.O.A, she’s a good 8.5.