[quote]Originally posted by Lars:
As a survivor of a head on crash I understand what you're going through mentally. The worst thing about the whole ordeal was trying to get back into the drivers seat. It took me months to really feel comfortable enough to drive a car again. To this very day I never take anything for granted while driving. It's been 12 years since the accident and I can still close my eyes and relive it over and over again.
Lars, your story fostered a flashback for me that I thought I should share. You might even be familiar with the event.
A number of years ago I had taken a group of kids up to Whiteface for a race. We had two vehicles to transport the kids, the team van and a private car driven by one of the older racers. The morning of the first race the 3 kids in the private car left for the mountain first, as the van I was driving was running late getting everybody loaded up. Once departed we proceeded in the van along the very curvy road from Lake Placid to the mountain, and about half way there we came around a bend in the road to view up ahead what seemed to be an accident scene. As we got closer we recognized the car to be our kids Volkswagen Jetta.
With 12 kids in my van I pulled up along side of the tragedy to find one of the kids unconscious and fighting for life while being administered CPR, and another lying dead outside of their vehicle, all in full and up close view of the kids in my van. The third passenger in the vehicle had been in the back seat and was totally injury free but on the verge of emotional shock and upon our arrival he ran to us and jumped into the van with the other now stunned kids who had just been exposed to this horrendous sight.
I took care of what I had to at the accident scene and got the kids in the van away from there as quickly as I could, but as I pulled away I had the most uneasy feeling for driving I have ever experienced, every curve I encountered, every car that approached me produced streams of tension through my entire body and made me intensely aware of the personal responsibility for the 13 lives that sat behind me in that van that I carried in my hands. We returned home that evening and hit a lake effect snowstorm enroute with high winds that required me to drive through periodic white outs and heavy snow the whole trip. It was the longest, most tension filled 7 hours of driving of my life.
The point of my telling you the story is to try to encourage you all to drive cautiously out there and to be cognizant of the realities of what can happen. I'm sure you all have hit a corner a little to fast on a slick road at some point in your driving history and experienced a momentary loss of control, then quickly pulled it back together and proceeded on minimally phased. This is the same thing that happened to these kids except in their case fate rolled the dice against them and a truck was coming the other way and hit them 90 degrees broadside. How many times have but for the grace of God have gone we. Please be careful out there friends, it can happen so suddenly, and if your not killed yourself the memories of those that were will live with you the rest of your life as I and the 13 kids who were with me that day can so attest.
PS: The surreal part of the story is that the brother of the kid that died had been killed in a separate automobile accident a month to the day prior while driving with his father to another ski race. To this day an award is presented to a racer each year by New York State in honor and memory of these two fine young men/ski racers who so tragically lost their lives.