Came upon a bad auto accident today.

Stubee

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I was driving on the Seney Stretch in Michigan’s UP today, heading west on my way to my Ontario hunt camp. At a very small town where the Stretch ends I saw a utility trailer with a 4 wheeler sticking out into the highway and then somebody ran across the road towards it as I was slowing to a stop. I saw the trailer was attached to an overturned SUV and in front of that was a very hard hit small white car. I quickly wheeled over & ran to help in any way I could. There were already about 6-8 people there or stopping like me. Some were already getting the smashed glass out of the side windows so they could get to the passengers.

The small car’s drivers side was smashed stem to stern with an airbag or two visible, and it was caved in so much I feared nobody could survive it if they were on that side. There were four occupants, a male driver and three women passengers. The driver was at least conscious but was bloody and looked to be in shock. He did respond a bit to us as we queried him. The front passenger was slumped over but moving a little bit and we told her we were there and would get help. One back passenger was also slumped head down but feebly trying to get out and others were trying to keep her in her seat. The other passenger on my side was lying back with a bloody face and in obvious pain. She tried to lift her head while grimacing and a guy in front of me kept telling her to not move. I asked if he could take her hand to hold it and he did and she could squeeze it, and at least had that human touch in what was probably a very foggy & frightening time.

The SUV on its side had one guy holding a door open so a young girl—who appeared unhurt—could be passed out to her mother who was already out and the guy inside next passed the kids shoes out, which I ran over to the mother who was carrying her daughter because of all the glass. The van was smoking and when I turned around the guy inside had pulled himself out and was clambering down, using the underside with the driveshaft as a step. I think he was the driver as he kept saying “oh man, oh damn!” Each of the four in the van seemed shaky but relatively unscathed.

I asked and ambulances were on their way from Munising and a local EMT then raced up and started talking to the occupants in the small car. There was truly nothing more I could do and even more people had arrived so I continued on and as I drove away I realized how shaken up I was once away from it. It’s been a long time since I’ve been around a serious accident like that with people in obvious shock and pain and while I’m glad my first instinct is still to try to help in any way possible it’s strong feelings afterwards if these things aren’t your profession, and maybe even if so?

I’m not sure what happened other than the SUV obviously hit the small car on the driver side, likely right about center and probably at the normal speed there of 50-55MPH. I didn’t see any skid marks and guessed the crash happened without a chance to hit the brakes. I’d guess the SUV + trailer weighed 2X the little car and it showed in damage to each. I stopped for five ambulances heading to the scene on my way west and I sure hope the occupants of the small car weren’t hurt as bad as it seemed.
 

Toto'sDad

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Seen a lot of that kind of stuff when I was on the road in a big rig, I'd be more worried if you weren't shook up! I hope you can settle down and get some rest. Seeing people hurt, and not being able to help them is one of the toughest things a human being can experience.
 

57joonya

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That sounds like an awful scene, you did good by trying to help. Let’s hope they all made it
 

NeverTooLate

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That's awful. Hope they all are ok. You did great to stop and try to help.
On a different note, love UP. It has been 14 years since I was last there though.
 

getbent

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I was driving on the Seney Stretch in Michigan’s UP today, heading west on my way to my Ontario hunt camp. At a very small town where the Stretch ends I saw a utility trailer with a 4 wheeler sticking out into the highway and then somebody ran across the road towards it as I was slowing to a stop. I saw the trailer was attached to an overturned SUV and in front of that was a very hard hit small white car. I quickly wheeled over & ran to help in any way I could. There were already about 6-8 people there or stopping like me. Some were already getting the smashed glass out of the side windows so they could get to the passengers.

The small car’s drivers side was smashed stem to stern with an airbag or two visible, and it was caved in so much I feared nobody could survive it if they were on that side. There were four occupants, a male driver and three women passengers. The driver was at least conscious but was bloody and looked to be in shock. He did respond a bit to us as we queried him. The front passenger was slumped over but moving a little bit and we told her we were there and would get help. One back passenger was also slumped head down but feebly trying to get out and others were trying to keep her in her seat. The other passenger on my side was lying back with a bloody face and in obvious pain. She tried to lift her head while grimacing and a guy in front of me kept telling her to not move. I asked if he could take her hand to hold it and he did and she could squeeze it, and at least had that human touch in what was probably a very foggy & frightening time.

The SUV on its side had one guy holding a door open so a young girl—who appeared unhurt—could be passed out to her mother who was already out and the guy inside next passed the kids shoes out, which I ran over to the mother who was carrying her daughter because of all the glass. The van was smoking and when I turned around the guy inside had pulled himself out and was clambering down, using the underside with the driveshaft as a step. I think he was the driver as he kept saying “oh man, oh damn!” Each of the four in the van seemed shaky but relatively unscathed.

I asked and ambulances were on their way from Munising and a local EMT then raced up and started talking to the occupants in the small car. There was truly nothing more I could do and even more people had arrived so I continued on and as I drove away I realized how shaken up I was once away from it. It’s been a long time since I’ve been around a serious accident like that with people in obvious shock and pain and while I’m glad my first instinct is still to try to help in any way possible it’s strong feelings afterwards if these things aren’t your profession, and maybe even if so?

I’m not sure what happened other than the SUV obviously hit the small car on the driver side, likely right about center and probably at the normal speed there of 50-55MPH. I didn’t see any skid marks and guessed the crash happened without a chance to hit the brakes. I’d guess the SUV + trailer weighed 2X the little car and it showed in damage to each. I stopped for five ambulances heading to the scene on my way west and I sure hope the occupants of the small car weren’t hurt as bad as it seemed.
take some time to process. those experiences are traumatic for you (witness, person helping) I'm grateful you shared the story with us... it helps us remember to be careful (and why) and it is good to share it. all of those lives changed today (yours too, to a degree.)

I have a nephew who has been in counseling for a couple of years. My wife and he were sitting with his grandmother the other day and he was talking about quitting going to counseling and his grandma blurted out 'what kind of trauma have you had, you have had everything given to you, there is no reason for you to have had any trauma.'

Stuff works on us. Don't let it sneak up on you.
 

Knows3Chords

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The fog here in Michigan this morning was the worst I have ever seen it. I'm surprised I haven't heard of more accidents. I'm sure you are very shook up about it, but you did an honorable thing in helping. I'm sure you holding that poor girls hand while she was in shock helped her more than you will ever know.
 

Toto'sDad

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take some time to process. those experiences are traumatic for you (witness, person helping) I'm grateful you shared the story with us... it helps us remember to be careful (and why) and it is good to share it. all of those lives changed today (yours too, to a degree.)

I have a nephew who has been in counseling for a couple of years. My wife and he were sitting with his grandmother the other day and he was talking about quitting going to counseling and his grandma blurted out 'what kind of trauma have you had, you have had everything given to you, there is no reason for you to have had any trauma.'

Stuff works on us. Don't let it sneak up on you.
Folks couldn't afford things like trauma in your nephew's grandma's day. My grandpa was worn out from just plain hard work by the age of 56 and died. Most of his brothers died off from the same malady at close to the same age. Daylight was when my grandpa's day started, it ended at sundown. He probably was about my age when he died in miles he'd traveled. Life is harder for some, and easier for others, and some of us are just plain lucky!
 

Milspec

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Even first responders come away shaky from the adrenaline. I recall arriving on the scene of a single car crash where a drunk drove straight into a light pole. He had no vitals and when I started CPR compressions, it was like pushing on a wet sponge. His ribs were smashed by the impact with the steering wheel. I was alone for 4 minutes on that CPR before being relieved by the other arriving EMT's.

The guy lived, but I never renewed my EMT credentials after that....just could never get it out of my mind.

You did good, they were lucky to have so many caring people come to their aid so quickly.
 

rarebreed

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I know where you're coming from, about 7 years ago a car ran off the road, hit the culvert under my driveway and flipped over in my front yard. When I heard the crash I opened the front door and the car was on it's roof and on fire. I told my wife to call 911. I ran out to the car and first checked the back seat looking for kids. There were two guys in the car, both had been drinking. I got the driver out pretty easy but his buddy riding shotgun was tangled up in the seat belt. By the time I got him out the flames were coming through the dash board. He got some burns on his back and I wound up with some small burns on my hands. To be honest, in the aftermath it scared the hell out of me. I did not sleep hardly a wink that night.
 

imwjl

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@Stubee hang in there. It can be very shocking. Two incidents have stuck with me forever. Once I came right upon an accident when I car hit a girl who died. Another time in late night freeway driving, an accident where the car was starting to burn and the first of us who stopped helped get the driver out who was in rough shape. Someone dragged him out figuring if the car went from smoldering to flames it would be worse than waiting for first responders.
 

schmee

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One morning I had let the dogs out in the fenced front yard to "do their thing". It was mid morning and this house was out in the country with the closest house probably 1/4 mile away. The road however was a 50 mph road. I had just let the dogs in and finished a shower when I heard this big "boom"! I pulled on my jeans and looked out in the front yard. There were two big trees down, and pieces of debris everywhere.
Getting outside I saw there was a car rim embedded in one standing tree about 10 feet up! Like an embedded hatchet. No tire on the rim. On the other end of the yard maybe 60 feet away there was what looked like the cab (only) of a pickup truck with no doors on it, no engine, no bed.
There was an older guy laying in the front yard grass face up. Motionless. I told the wife to call 911 and I felt for a pulse. He had one but was motionless and there was no blood visible. I didn't want to move him so I got the umbrella and shielded his face from the bright sun.

Long story short, he had probably had a medical event and his foot jammed the accelerator down, he was going about 70+ mph on the raised roadway.
-He careened off the road, hit a cedar tree that was about 20" diameter. Sheared it right off.
-Now airborne, he hit another big birch tree (14-16") and sheared it off.
-By then evidently the pickup was cartwheeling and the bed hit the tree the wheel was embedded in and the pickup bed came off.
-Tumbling through the air, the doors and the engine came free from what was left.
-The old guy must have went airborne in the middle of all this saving him from being chopped up.

Unfortunately we found out later he died and never regained consciousness, back and internal injuries.

I was still finding small pieces of debris a couple years later around places in the yard. The violence of a car traveling fast and hitting things is unbelievable.
 

brookdalebill

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I see them fairly often (a few times a year).
Usually on my way home from out of town after gigs.
I was even involved in one almost exactly 7 years ago.
They’re life-changing and unforgettable.
My dear friend and bass player Bill C was killed, and I got banged up.
Drunk driver running a red light.
I sincerely wish a full recovery for the survivors.
 

Milspec

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One morning I had let the dogs out in the fenced front yard to "do their thing". It was mid morning and this house was out in the country with the closest house probably 1/4 mile away. The road however was a 50 mph road. I had just let the dogs in and finished a shower when I heard this big "boom"! I pulled on my jeans and looked out in the front yard. There were two big trees down, and pieces of debris everywhere.
Getting outside I saw there was a car rim embedded in one standing tree about 10 feet up! Like an embedded hatchet. No tire on the rim. On the other end of the yard maybe 60 feet away there was what looked like the cab (only) of a pickup truck with no doors on it, no engine, no bed.
There was an older guy laying in the front yard grass face up. Motionless. I told the wife to call 911 and I felt for a pulse. He had one but was motionless and there was no blood visible. I didn't want to move him so I got the umbrella and shielded his face from the bright sun.

Long story short, he had probably had a medical event and his foot jammed the accelerator down, he was going about 70+ mph on the raised roadway.
-He careened off the road, hit a cedar tree that was about 20" diameter. Sheared it right off.
-Now airborne, he hit another big birch tree (14-16") and sheared it off.
-By then evidently the pickup was cartwheeling and the bed hit the tree the wheel was embedded in and the pickup bed came off.
-Tumbling through the air, the doors and the engine came free from what was left.
-The old guy must have went airborne in the middle of all this saving him from being chopped up.

Unfortunately we found out later he died and never regained consciousness, back and internal injuries.

I was still finding small pieces of debris a couple years later around places in the yard. The violence of a car traveling fast and hitting things is unbelievable.
Wow, that is one of the worst crashes I have ever read about! Speed does incredible things on impact with solid objects, we had a kid out of Camp Pendleton who took a corner at over 120 mph on his crotch rocket, tried to stiff arm the tree prior to impact. His body was found 35 yards away along with the bike debris, but his arm was found stuck in the tree like an arrow.

To quote Johnny Fever: Speed kills Dell.
 

aging_rocker

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Always traumatic coming on scenes like that. Kudos @Stubee for doing your bit.

A friend of mine, who is is sadly no longer with us, was woken in the middle of the night by the sound of a car hitting a concrete lamppost at (what was later calculated to be) 80+ mph.

My friend phoned the emergency services, and went out to see what he could do.

The car was smashed and mangled, the post was down and the driver had been flung out (no seatbelt) and was pretty messed up but still had a faint pulse, somehow. My friend did CPR until the first responders arrived (after about 5 minutes), and they told him to stop, because the driver was dead by this time.

My friend said those 5 minutes 'seemed like forever' and he said he can still smell the alcohol and blood from the driver.

Don't drink and drive, folks.
 

kuch

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Good for you to stop and help. I hope if anything like that happens to me, people like you would try to help.

Take care of yourself
 

Milspec

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Always traumatic coming on scenes like that. Kudos @Stubee for doing your bit.

A friend of mine, who is is sadly no longer with us, was woken in the middle of the night by the sound of a car hitting a concrete lamppost at (what was later calculated to be) 80+ mph.

My friend phoned the emergency services, and went out to see what he could do.

The car was smashed and mangled, the post was down and the driver had been flung out (no seatbelt) and was pretty messed up but still had a faint pulse, somehow. My friend did CPR until the first responders arrived (after about 5 minutes), and they told him to stop, because the driver was dead by this time.

My friend said those 5 minutes 'seemed like forever' and he said he can still smell the alcohol and blood from the driver.

Don't drink and drive, folks.
Your friend is correct. Odd that the medics would tell him to stop CPR though...that is generally left to the ER staff to decide unless it was obviously not worth the effort.

When I started working in the Prisons, on my second day there was an inmate on the floor without a pulse in the prison clinic. I started CPR, but was told by my Super to stop and wait for the paramedics to arrive. Once they are coming up, then start CPR.

Prison is not a good place to live....or die in for that matter.
 




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