Saturday, May 12, 2018
It Just Got Real
By Karen McCullough
For a while now I’ve heard the horrific stories about the destruction wrought by drunk, drugged-up, and inattentive (read: texting or checking phones) drivers. I’ve long been a proponent of tougher drunk driving laws and those banning texting while driving. A week ago, though, it got very real to me. That was the day my brother-in-law, my husband’s younger brother was sideswiped by a reckless driver.
He owns a civil engineering firm that does surveying work, so he puts a lot of mileage on his SUV. A week ago, late on a Friday afternoon, he was heading home from work when a woman crossed the center line into his lane. He swerved to avoid her, but she still side-swiped him. His car went off the road and rolled several times.
A witness to the accident, who’d been driving behind her for some time, told the police she’d “been all over the road.”
The impaired young woman’s car also careened off the road and into a tree, but she walked away with almost no injuries. At this point I don’t know if she’s been charged or not, but I certainly hope she will be.
My brother-in-law sustained drastic and terrible injuries, including head trauma and multiple broken bones – vertebra, scapula, clavicle, and nine ribs were fractured. He’s already had several surgeries to repair various things. He’s still in the trauma ICU on a ventilator and has a gazillion tubes going into him and machines monitoring him.
It was touch and go for a couple of days, but it looks now like he will survive and mostly recover. But he has a long road ahead. He faces probably six months to a year of recovery and physical therapy. He may well be out of work for a year or more if he can ever get back to it at all. First, though, he’ll have to re-learn to walk and other motor skills.
All because a young woman got behind the wheel when she was either in no condition to drive or wasn’t paying attention to what she was doing. I don’t know what kind of penalty she’ll face, but I hope it’s a pretty steep one. My brother-in-law and hist family are paying a terrible price for her mistake.