Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Diecinueve de Julio

025 Track Marks
Originally uploaded by pastry_child
Quite the turn of events today. We all got up at 6 am to drive out to Puerta Vallarta to stay the night – what’s the point of going to Mexico if you won’t see the beach? Am I right???? Unfortunately, we never made it to Puerta Vallarta. It had rained just enough to make the roads slippery, and Wyatt was going a little too fast. When the car started to veer toward the edge of the road, he tried to correct, but it was too late. The back wheels had already gone off the road at that point, which was enough to send us over the edge. The car flipped 3 times before stopping with the driver’s side down. In case you missed that last part, THE CAR FLIPPED OVER 4 TIMES.

I’m convinced that the seatbelts were the only thing that saved us. We can’t say a damn thing for the 6 airbags that didn’t deploy! The frame of the car held up quite well, especially considering we were bouncing off of some pretty large boulders. The top of the car was dented and separated from the frame, but didn’t collapse, which is truly amazing. The rear and passenger side windows were all destroyed.

As the car was flying through the air in all directions, I had the good sense to put my hands up to brace myself on the ceiling, rather than the window. I also thought to keep my mouth shut, which might not seem like an important thing, but those who didn’t clamp it shut had the opportunity to experience the taste of glass. I remembered being very aware of what was going on and that the car was actually flipping – this realization gave me confidence that I was going to be okay, as long as the car didn’t explode. As soon as the car stopped, I immediately asked if everyone was okay, and received responses from each person. Someone, I think Adrianna, started whimpering. Being a strangely level-headed person when it comes to traumatic situations, I yelled at her that she was fine, that we were all fine.

Luckily there were plenty of other people on the road at the time, so a couple was there immediately to help us. Of course, with the car lying on its side, we had to coordinate our escape, but in the end, it worked out okay. When I got back to the street and looked back at the car, it was such a shock to see what we had all survived. I looked at Josh, Adrianna’s second cousin, who had blood all over his face. It turned out to be a very small scratch on his cheek which had run all over his face as the car was flipping. Wyatt seemed fine, but understandably upset, and Adrianna seemed alright, though quite shaken. Nick however, received the brunt of the injuries. His arm was completely thrashed in two places. We’ve come to the conclusion that he must have put his elbow through the window, since his cuts were so jagged in nature. His elbow had markings that resembled a shark bite in my mind, and his forearm was described later by a doctor as being “filleted”. Needless to say, he was bleeding all over the place – and the only form of water available was lime flavored. Awesome. As with Adrianna, I felt fine, other than a headache, which was a result of banging my head on the window several times.

When the paramedics arrived, they treated Nick and Josh and then informed Wyatt and Adrianna that they could take Nick to the hospital, but that would result in Wyatt going to jail until everything was sorted out and there was a trial. Apparently in Mexico, if the police see or find out about even a drop of blood at a car crash, the driver who is at fault goes to jail automatically. Even though Wyatt and Adrianna already knew this, I thought it was kind of the medic to let us know so that we could choose to go to the hospital on our own.

After the ambulance left, we had to wait for the police, and then the tow truck. We had to keep Nick’s wound, which was wrapped in gauze at this point, “under wraps” so to speak, so the police wouldn’t know about his injury. Poor Nick had to hang out in a sweatshirt that covered his arm for several hours in the Mexican heat.

Once the tow truck came and hauled the car out of the field, we were able to get our things. Please keep in mind, I’ve been out in the sun for several hours, while my sunscreen was in the trunk of the car that I couldn’t get to! I guess I’ll be crispy-fried for the rest of my vacation.

We all went to a private hospital to get checked out and to get stitches for Nick. I had xrays done, because my neck and back were starting to get sore. Survey says: Kim has extreme curvature in her lower back (read: badonkadonk), which, if untreated, will cause major issues later in life, if not already. The car accident aggravated this in my lower and upper back, so when I return to the states, I need to get extended treatment. The doctor even let me take my xrays home for this purpose. He also sent me off with this handy foam neck brace that I have to wear at all times except when I’m eating, sleeping our showering. I don’t have any fractures, but with my neck being so sore, I need to rest it as much as possible for 3-4 weeks. I also have muscle relaxers and a muscle cream that I can use during the day without worrying about drowsiness.

Adrianna gets to wear a neck brace too! I figure, with the car totaled, we’ll be flying home – maybe Adrianna and I can get better seats if we really play up the neck injuries!
Nick received his stitches, and they pulled a chunk of glass out from under his skin. He kept the glass, of course. Wyatt sustained zero injuries, but is a little sore in the neck. He was sent home with some Tylenol for soreness and the option of taking a neck brace. We’ll all be going back on Tuesday for follow up appointments before heading back home.

It’s so overwhelming to think about what happened today. I periodically go back to it, and I become very emotional. What if someone hadn’t been wearing a seatbelt? What if the car hadn’t been going as fast – would we have landed closer to where we veered off the road, which was a much larger drop? What if I hadn’t gotten off with simple aches and pains?

Moral of the story? Wear your goddamn seatbelt.

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