What Happened Next

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The following morning we left Florida as per our chosen attorney. I wanted to get home quickly as I had taken time off from work. I couldn’t afford to use wasted vacation days. I knew that my travels to Florida would continue and I needed to work to make this happen. What happened that day is a shock to us all. It truly affected myself and my sons, especially my oldest son whose emotional state was already fragile.

Please see the attached pictures of our devastating accident and the destruction of the vehicle I relied on.

We are fortunate to be alive to tell the story. Vehicles can always be replaced eventually. Below is the article I wrote for my company newspaper. Above is an attachment of my beloved van. We are truly blessed to be alive.

XXXXXXXXXX Times, Thursday, August 1, 2013(Published Date)
SAFETY

When a person can walk away from a car accident By: Pam XXXXXX

When a person can walk away from a car accident, they are blessed. When they can walk

away from a car crash, they are truly blessed. Three of my children and I walked away from

a terrible car crash where our car rolled over multiple times and we are very blessed and

grateful to be alive today. Even one of the first responders said that it was a miracle that we

survived.

Since the accident, I felt compelled to share my experience with my team members. My

hope is that my experience will help someone else if they find themselves in a similar situation.

On our way home from Florida, our back tire blew out. One of my sons was driving and the

other son was in the passenger seat. I was behind the driver and my youngest son was in

the back seats. My daughter and mother did not accompany us on this trip in which I am

humbly grateful. When the tire blew out, I was engrossed on my phone and hadn’t realized what

was happening. Next thing I knew, the van was spinning around. My son lost

control of the van. I watched him fight valiantly with the steering wheel. Then,

the van began to roll over and over. I thought that we were going to die.

Abruptly, everything came to a standstill. The response of everyone who stopped

to help us was amazing. My boys had to be helped through the broken window

and I had to be cut out of my seat belt. Did I say seat belt? By the grace of God,

we were all wearing our seatbelts. Imagine if we weren’t?? I felt like we

were all given a second chance. Aside from bad bumps, bruises and glass cuts,

we were fine. I explained to my son that whatever his maneuver, he kept all of us

alive and fortunately no other vehicles were involved. Later that week, I did

however; share some driving tips with my family that I found on the weather

channel. I also wanted to share it with my team members.

What to do during a tire blowout

 The goal in any rapid loss of tire pressure or “blowout” is to keep the vehicle balanced

and controllable. Do not panic. Any over-reaction by the driver — including slamming on

the brakes or abruptly removing your foot from the accelerator — can result in a loss of

vehicle control.

 In any blowout situation, it’s most important to first remember the 2 things you should

NOT do:

 Do not step on the brake. As instinctive as it may be, it’s the worst mistake you can

make in any tire blowout situation. Applying the brakes will cause an even greater

imbalance on the vehicle’s stability.

 Do not abruptly release your foot from the accelerator. This is the second worst

mistake you can make. Rapidly releasing the accelerator causes the vehicle to transfer

more of its weight from the rear tires to the front tires. With a flat tire, this can lead to loss

of control of the vehicle.

 Instead, in any blowout situation, you should follow these 3 steps:

 Gradually release the accelerator.

 Correct the steering as necessary to stabilize your vehicle and regain control. Look

where you want the vehicle to go and steer in that direction.

 Once your vehicle has stabilized, continue to slow down and pull off the road where and

when you judge it’s safe to do so.

 Remember, no matter which tire blows out — front or back — the do’s and don’ts for

safely maintaining control of your vehicle are exactly the same. The only difference

between a front and rear tire blowout is that you will feel the force of a front blowout

more in the vehicle’s steering, while you’ll feel a rear blowout more in the seat or body of

the vehicle.

My youngest son later said, “Now I know why you nag us all the time about wearing our

seatbelts. Seat belts really save lives.” I know that they saved our lives. Thank you for taking

the time to read this and I hope that it can help someone else.

Sometimes second chances work out even better than the first because you learn from

your mistakes.


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