Did You Hear That Noise?

17 Aug

I took Monday of this week off so I had a three-day weekend. It started out as one of the worst weekends I’ve ever had but it ended spectacularly (more about the spectacular part in my next post). Friday night/Saturday morning I was in the middle of a crazy dream when my husband woke me up. He asked if I had heard that noise. Um, no. The only thing I heard were the noises in my dream because I was sound asleep! I glanced at the clock and it read 5:10 AM. I had to get up at 6:00 to get ready for a photo shoot so I wasn’t very happy to be awake. At this point, Josh was at our window squinting to see if he could see anything outside. I figured he had heard a thump somewhere and he was worried someone was breaking in. This wouldn’t be the first time that happened so I wasn’t very concerned. Plus, I was still half asleep and just wanted to get back to my dream.

Then Josh said that the noise he heard was tires screeching and then a crash. At this point I was wide awake. We live pretty close to a two-lane road with a speed limit of 50 mph and accidents are somewhat common. We decided we would both go and look around so he grabbed a flashlight and I grabbed my cell phone. We hopped in the car and headed out to the main road. We stopped at the road and looked to the right. I saw brake lights and a car sitting still so I told Josh to turn right. As we were approaching the stopped car, it veered to the left and went around another car. That was when we saw it.

There was a small pick up truck perpendicular to the road and a body laying next to it. I yelled at Josh to pull over and leapt out of the car. I threw Josh the flashlight and I started running. The only thing going through my mind was that I didn’t want this person to be scared and alone. I had to get to him. As I was running I noticed something big and red in the middle of the road and I prayed it wasn’t a limb. Thankfully, it was only a chunk of his tail light. By the time I reached the man, I had 911 on the phone. As I explained where I was and what was happening the man met my eyes. I told him that I was getting him help and that everything would be ok. He kept trying to say something but no sound was coming out. I just told him to hang on.

While I was on the phone I started looking around at the scene. I checked the car to make sure no one else was in it and there wasn’t. Then I looked at the man again. He was laying on his stomach with his head facing me. He had a big cut on his arm and I could see something white; either bone or fat. He had no shoes on but had white ankle socks. The only thing he moved the entire time were his eyes and mouth. Nothing else moved at all. There were also broken beer bottles around him. (I have tried not to judge because there is always a chance that he just had some alcohol in his car and that he wasn’t actually drunk. I have to admit, it’s a little suspicious though.)

I struggled a bit during the 911 call because I was so overwhelmed. I had to ask Josh what the closest intersection was because I completely blanked. After a minute or two, Josh went back to our truck and sat down. I thought he was just trying to get out of the way but I found out later that he was feeling really sick and thought he was either going to throw up or pass out. Right when I finished talking to the 911 operator, another woman pulled up and got out of the car. After speaking with her, I discovered she was the first person to find him and call 911. She went around the wreck to see if there were any other intersections so she could tell the 911 operator. At this point I was still standing right next to the man and she yelled at me to get away because the truck was smoking and could blow up. I really wish I had listened to my instincts at that point because I knew that cars don’t just blow up. I should have stayed right by the injured man but instead I backed away a bit. That’s the one thing I regret about how I handled the situation.

Another guy pulled up and sat in the middle of the road yelling “OH JESUS!” over and over. We told him that we were getting him help and he should just keep moving so he wasn’t blocking the road. I heard some sirens and saw a fire truck coming down the road. I got back in our truck and we left. As we were leaving we saw the ambulance coming as well. Once I got home and broke down. I was shaking and got really sick to my stomach. I don’t know how I maintained my composure up until that point but I was proud of myself. Even when others couldn’t handle it, I stepped up and took charge. I can’t say I saved the man’s life because I wasn’t even the first person to call 911, but I’m glad I was there with him as much as I could be. I am usually awful in any sort of stressful situation so this was definitely out of character for me. I think the main reason was because of the one thought that kept running through my head. “I don’t want him to be alone. He can’t be alone.”

The rest of the day we obsessively checked the online news sites and finally one of them posted the article. At first it stated that he was in critical condition at our local hospital. Later that day, it said he had been treated and released and we were ecstatic! However, shortly after that, one of his relatives posted that he had actually been transferred by med-flight to another hospital with severe spine, neck, shoulder and hand injuries.  That is the last I have heard. I pray for him and his family every day and wish there was some way to stay updated. I need to find peace in the fact that I did what I could and there is nothing else I can do now.

I’m still struggling with some flash backs and his face keeps popping in my mind at random times. I still cry and wish I had stayed right by his side the entire time. I can’t drive past where the accident was and even looking in that direction makes me sick to my stomach. I know with time these things will fade but I will never, ever forget that night.


5 Responses to “Did You Hear That Noise?”

  1. Roxanne August 17, 2011 at 4:10 pm #

    My heart was clenched as I was reading this. I was in a horrible car accident myself late in 2010 and am still recovering from it in many ways. I hope you find the tenderness, kindness and safety that you need and I will continue to keep everyone involved in the accident in my heart.

  2. Anni August 17, 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    So glad that you stayed with him, and that your husband had the compassion to wake you and figure out what was up. My grandfather was killed by a drunk driver, and car accidents are something we as a society don’t think much about, but they’re so terrifying.

  3. Jessica August 17, 2011 at 11:12 pm #

    Thinking of you!


  4. Stereo August 18, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    This sounded absolutely horrific and it’s no wonder it had such an impact on you. You were terrific, though. I doubt I could have been as clear headed and reacted as fast if I was in the same situation. I pray that he and his family are alright and that he makes a full recovery. Well done to you and Josh!

  5. The Last Girl Standing September 15, 2011 at 8:07 pm #

    Oh my goodness, how scary! You should be proud of yourself… I’m proud of you too! Everyone should have someone beside them when their hurt or scared. I’m so glad you did that for him. You’re an amazing person with a huge heart!

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