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Our accident

Like most things that happen in our life, I feel compelled to put it on a webpage. :) But seriously so many of our friends have asked about our accident, especially because of Gina's injury, I thought I would put these pictures up for awhile.

As most of you know, we were headed to visit Mom(gram) in Erie the day after Christmas 2004. We didn't get very far. We were on I71 about 40 miles north of Columbus in Morrow County. The weather the days before was 10 inches of snow followed by an inch or two of ice, then another 8 inches of snow. When the plows did get through, they didn't just push piles of snow off the road, it came off more in sheets that look like small iceblocks. You could have built thousands of igloos with what was in the median. This snow piled up on the side of the road and looked like ramps about 3 feet high. The roads were mostly clear with just a little snow between lanes. We were changing lanes when the back slid out, the whole van hit the "launching ramp", went airborne, carthweeled and rolled 3 times as near as we can remember.

Injuries

I was in the driver's seat and as you can probably summize from the pictures, I got lots of cuts on my hands and head from flying glass from the winshield and my side window which shattered. Melinda was behind me on the driver's side and she mainly got bumps and bruises. The roof in her area came down right to the top of her head. Gina got the worst of things with with a separation of her AC joint in her shoulder. Basically the shoulder end of her collarbone was about 1/2" above the other one. This required surgery on 1/4/05 and her arm was imobilized for another 6 weeks. After about 2 years she was close to 100% recovered.

Looking at the first picture I think you can see why I got all my cuts, especially on my hands. (Two weeks later they are almost healed)


I think we hit once on the roof near the left front, once on the left side as you can see below and.....

once on the right side before stopping in a wheels down, or right side up position.


Here is a view of what things look like to me when it was over. (The window is gone not down)As you can see neither airbag deployed. Had they deployed after the windshield busted I think it would have been ugly.


This would be the view from Gina's side below


Here you can see the roof came down over Melinda's seat.


Summary

Gina described as like being inside a laundromat washing machine. I think of it as the longest and scariest 30 seconds of my life. I have no doubts that without seatbelts there may have been fatalies. I can tell you when Ohio's seatbelt law went into effect, it was March 1984 the month Melinda was born. I've worn them everytime since then. I estimate that I have driven this section or road several hundred times over the last 27 years and many times in worse conditions. If you've heard of black ice, let me tell you its for real. It happens when there is snow and ice on the road, the sun comes out while its still below freezing but melts the ice just enough to form a layer like a small puddle then freezes when the sun goes away.

RIP Wingmobile