Car Accident Friday, Feb. 13th, 1998
On Feb. Friday the 13th
1998, I was involved in a car accident on Hwy. 101 near the Brisbane
exit in Brisbane California. My car started to spin out of control
at 65mph from the slow lane and it struck a guardrail and flipped
up in the air and into a creek. I am very lucky to be alive.
The story of everything that happened is going on below...
03/18/98-Police Report in today. Looks like they say I'm
the one at fault because I couldn't control my car (maintain
lane stuff). Report says that witnesses say I wasn't doing anything
unusual. I was changing lanes to the slowest lane on a 4 lane
highway, then something unknown caused me to go out of
control. They also report the there were skip/skid marks
on the highway (my car has ABS brakes. This couldn't happen at
the rate of speed my car was going). Report also says that my
car was airborne into the aqueduct (creek). I think this is also
not correct. I have pictures of the accident scene and there
is proof my car traveled through the fence located at
the top of the aqueduct (creek).
03/28/98-Photos of the car and the accident scene
on hwy. 101.
is towed to a storage area. You can see the sever damage on the
drivers side from the impact of hitting the guardrail.
view from the drivers seat. I can't recognize the twisted dash
and metal. If you look at the lower part of the pic, you'll see
the yellow dead-man's bag that they place on not so lucky accident
view of the GTI VR6. No, my head didn't hit the window. The damage
shown here was caused by the impact from the guardrail.
Guardrail that I had no trouble plowing through.
is a view of the aqueduct I fell into after plowing through the
is a view of the path I blazed to the aqueduct from the freeway
to the water.
of car a few months before the crash.
Another pic of my little VR6 before the crash.
On the day of the crash, I got
a call from a friend in San Francisco at my home office reporting
that his computer backup (mirror drive) was not working. After
a few technical questions I agreed to meet at his office and
check out the complaint. When I arrived, as he said, the drive
was dead. I started to call around and look for a suitable hard
drive at CompUSA, Frys and Micro Center. I found the drive at
Micro Center in Santa Clara. I got a company check from my friend/client
and left to pickup the drive.
I was on my way back to San Francisco
nearing the Brisbane exit going northbound on Hwy. 101 around
5:30ish. It was a clear evening, dry and some traffic. I was
traveling in the second lane to the slow lane when someone in
front of me was going a little slower than I was. I decided to
transfer to the slow lane where the traffic was not as heavy.
As I attempted to make the lane change everything fades to black...
My next image is a guardrail coming at the car, then a terrific
impact on the drivers side at about 50mph caving the drivers
side in about 2 feet. Apparently I hit the guardrail square dead
on with my drivers side. Then the car sheers off the guardrail
ripping it from its anchored foundation. The car then fly's about
40 feet into a sunken aqueduct that runs alongside of the freeway.
The impact was so great that my drivers door was ripped from
the car and clamped around the guardrail. Later a CHP officer
told me that it took them 30mins to get the door separated from
I was now in the aqueduct with my legs hanging out the drivers
door cavity. I noticed some good Samaritans along side the top
of the aqueduct. Two people came down to assist me. One person
named Kevin was helping me with my legs. Another person (a woman)
was also there to assist me. The aqueduct was about 10 feet below
the freeway. If it wasn't for these good Samaritans, I don't
think the rescue personnel would have been able to see me and
get to me to take me to the hospital.
As I sat there I came in and out of it looking around surmising
my condition. I did a quick damage check and could tell my legs
were broken. The left lower leg and the right lower leg. My chest
felt like it was on fire. I thought I had internal bleeding,
but it turned out it was a bruised lung and ribs from the seat
belt pulling on me as the car was spinning and crashing around.
My arms and hands were okay but a quick check of my head revealed
cuts and bruises.
As I looked around at the inside of my little car I could see
the twisted metal broken glass and wreckage all over. I didn't
recognize my little GTI. Everyday I got into it and drove around
even to the corner store for convenience items was a pleasure.
I would love driving up to skyline road and pop in my Titanic
soundtrack tape and drive and drive for hours. It was a real
escape for me.
Well after a while the rescuers
arrived. It was dusk. I think I saw about 20 firefighters climbing
all over the car. I heard one say ,"let's cut the roof to
get em out!". I quickly informed the firemen to just pull
me from the car. There was nothing holding me in, in fact the
car door was gone and nothing in the way of pulling me out. They
sent for a flat board that they strapped me to and preceded to
pull me up the sharp incline out of the aqueduct. It took about
15 men in an assembly line to hoist me up and over the wall to
the ambulance. Once in the ambulance I began to feel a little
better. I didn't like the the heavy THUD as the slid me into
the truck. It was very painful from that moment on. I wasn't
feeling anything up till then. Just some sharp pinches here and
there, but once in the ambulance I could feel every bump and
turn. It was like riding a roller coaster with broken legs. I
think this discomfort is what caused my next episode. As the
ambulance was rushing me to the San Francisco General Hospital,
I started to have shallow breathing. Then after a while I stopped
breathing. I was revived by the paramedic slapping me awake and
yelling, "Breath Mother Fucker!! Breath!!". I started
to breath to his satisfaction until we reached the hospital.
At the Hospital
Once at the SFGH, I don't remember
much. I remember someone pulling on my left leg to straighten
it I assume, and I remember being strapped to a gernie and slid
through a large donut shaped thing, head first then legs. I guess
they were taking pictures of me somehow.
I remember waking up in recovery room with my fiance and my best
friend A.J. there holding my hand for just a few short moments.
After that there were very short memories of other friends, Geoff,
John and others. It was a hell of a night.
While in the hospital, I was
transferred from room to room. One day I would be in intensive
care then moved to a regular room then back again to intensive
care. According to the Doctors, I had a bad blood clot in my
left leg that they were watching closely. If this blood clot
was to move, it could lodge itself in my lung or brain. If this
were to happen, it's curtains for me. The drug I'm taking is
coumadin. Its a rat poison used on humans to thin the blood and
to make blood clots dissolve.
While all the medical staff were
saving my life and limb, I was treated with the experience of
a community hospital. Some of the roommates I had were very interesting
person to person encounters.
As of this writing (June 1, 2001)
I am doing pretty good. Still have memory problems that plague
me. I have one hell of a time remembering little things like
appointments and things to take to the appointments. When I get
to a clients office Its really hard for me to remember what to
do. Most reading is to hard and I depend on location of things
and relationship to manage my day to day activities. On the physical
front, my knees are really giving me trouble. Walking around
all day like I used to is out. If I walk more than a mile in
one day, I have to rest the following day just to make to the
next day. I recently had the hardware removed from my legs and
since that operation its gotten much worse. It was sore before,
but now I'm lucky to do 2 or 3 appointments for clients in one
week. Of those service calls, I need to watch it. I usually schedule
my days appointment from 10am - 3pm. Meaning that I will be onsite
at a clients office by 10 and home resting by 3pm. On Wednesday
I take the day off and of course Saturday and Sundays are for
I spend more of my time re-learning
the computer skills I once had. I remember getting out of the
hospital and not touching my computer for months. It felt foreign
to me. As if I was learning to play a guitar or something. One
day one of my friends came over (AJ) because I wanted to him
to show me how to play a game I once liked and was fairly proficient
at. He spent the good part of the morning showing me how to play
Other days, I try to read as
many books and magazine as I can to get back up to speed. Its
slow, but coming back to me.
All in all, I'm doing pretty
good, but man I'd do anything to get my VR6 back and the normalcy
I once had.