Car wreck brings more than one impact

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

When I think back over all the traumatic things that have ever happened to me, I realize that I am a lot better off than most people. I have never lost someone who was incredibly close to me, and I have never been lost or abandoned, or seen any gruesome scene that has scared me for life. I would have to say that other than moving around a lot as a small child and being in the car when my mom ran over my cat, I haven't had any life altering moments.

That is, until about a week ago when I experienced how it feels to be driving a car and to run into someone else's vehicle.

That's right -- that brand new car I just got is now in the shop. I was driving down Lexington Avenue on my way to school. It was really cold and of course my little sister had forgotten to start the car and let it warm up. I looked down for just a second to turn the heater on, and the next thing I knew my sister was calling my name. When I looked up it was too late. I tried to step on the brakes and stop the car but I ended up underneath his truck, with the hood of my car smashed up on my windshield.

It was so scary. I immediately began crying and apologizing to everyone. I was shocked. My little sister was the calm one, making sure that I and our passenger in the back were all right. After what seemed like hours of sitting there shaking and crying, the driver of the truck came to my door to see if everyone was all right. I stepped out of the car and told him I was. I went and got my cell phone out of my backpack, which was in the trunk, and called my father. I was still crying like crazy. When he answered the phone I managed to get out the words I wrecked my car before my emotions took over again. He immediately asked me where I was and the funny thing was I didn't know. I couldn't remember where I was even though I drove on that street every day. After describing what was around me he figured it out and was at the scene in minutes.

The driver of the truck that I hit was very nice and so were the police that showed up on the scene. But even though no one was hurt and no one was mad, I couldn't calm down. I couldn't stop crying.

After getting everything situated and getting my car towed away, my father took us all to school. I thought I would be able to forget about the whole thing once I was at school, but boy, was I wrong. By the time I had gotten to school everyone had heard about the wreck and all they wanted to do was talk about it. Every time I retold the story I became even more upset. I called my mom and had her come and get me. She took me out to eat and gave me some time to calm down away from the stress of school.

Once I thought I was OK, she took me back to school. But once again after talking with people and answering questions I became upset again. I sat in the counselor's office for the next hour. It was there that I finally realized that everything was going to be OK. No one was hurt, no one was mad, and my car was fixable. But still it was the most traumatic day in my life. This was the first car wreck I have ever been in and it's the last.

Amber Karnes is a senior at Notre Dame Regional High School.

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