|This area of this site shows an extremely serious car accident I was involved in on December 23, 2007. According to my attorney, I was not allowed to go into details until a settlement was reached. In this section, you will see how I somehow cheated death, dismemberment, permanent physical injury and / or disability as my 2006 Ford Focus was struck by a flat-bed tow truck and rolled six times on Interstate 75 in Miramar, Florida. Instead of being dead, or even worse - wishing I was dead, I somehow managed to walk away with cuts and bruises. For precautions, I was airlifted to Memorial East Hospital in Hollywood, Florida where I spent one night for observations, with doctors stunned I was not "badly injured". Be informed that some imagery on this page might be disturbing to some viewers. The moral of this whole story is one major statement: "Insist on the use of seatbelts and airbags" - BUCKLE UP! They DO save lives. Mine was saved by them.
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The diagram above shows the remains of my 2006 Ford Focus ZX3 after it impacted a 1998 International flat-bed truck and rolled 6 times. Seatbelts, airbags, God, and "blind luck" spared me from death or disfiguring injuries and allowed me to actually walk away from such a mess! The Ford Focus, obviously, was a total $15,000 loss (the vehicle's new value). The 1998 International flat-bed suffered about $8,000 worth of damage as well. The driver of the truck was not hurt. I spent a night in the hospital with suprisingly minor images for supervision after a thrilling ride aboard a Life Flight trauma helicopter!
The image above is a map showing the location in south Florida where the accident took place on December 23, 2006 at roughly 2 PM EST. I was returning from the post office, which was located on Dykes road just south of Pines Blvd. After sending Christmas gifts / cards from the post office, I proceded to head east on Pines Blvd to get gas at the Exxon gas station on the east-bound side of Pines Blvd, then - to avoid traffic going back west, headed east to Interstate 75 to take the Miramar Parkway exit to return home. The accident ocurred about a half a mile north of Miramar Parkway in the right southbound lane.
The image above is an arial view of the location of the accident site. The view is to the south and southeast. This location of the accident is north of a cutoff canal and a municipal water storage tank, and about 2,640 feet north of the Miramar Parkway interchange. A business park and news / satellite complex is also on opposite sides of Interstate 75 just south of the accident area. The post office to the upper-left is NOT the post office I was returning from. Pines Blvd is north of this area by about a mile.
Above is a scanned image from the 6-7 page police / accident report furnished by the Florida highway Patrol describing the accident graphically. Vehicle 1 (labeled V-1) is the 1998 International Flat-bed tow truck. Vehicle 2 (labeled V-2) is my 2006 Ford Focus.
The scanned text above is a description accompanying the diagram above that, also furnished in a 6-7 page accident report by the Florida Highway Patrol. The summary shows the date of accident, case numbers (blotted out for security), and a description of how the vehicles (V-1 and V-2 in this case) were involved in the accident. Drivers 1 and 2 are for vehicles 1 and 2, respectively.
|Vehicle 1, referred to as V-1 in the police and accident report(s), was a 1998 International flat-bed recovery vehicle operated by a towing and recovery company located in Miami, Florida. I cannot mention the name of that company, and the truck shown to the left is NOT the same vehicle that was involved in this accident. The right rear side of this vehicle is where my vehicle impacted.|
|Vehicle 2, referred to as V-2 in the police and accident report(s), was my 2006 Ford Focus ZX3. This is a 3-door (hatch-back and 2 doors) compact car that was purchased in July 2006. The vehicle shown to the left is the same car, on a storm chasing trip in South Dakota in September 2006 (note the tornado to the far right)! This vehicle was struck on the driver's side by the 1998 International tow truck in the accident.|
By far, one of the most terrifying and horrific experiences I ever had! The image above is NOT real, fortunately. It is a simulated composite image of what it LOOKED like while the vehicle was rolling and tearing itself apart around me. This is my view I had out the driver's side while flipping as my Ford Focus rolled about 6 times. The initial impact, at about 70-MPH, and broad-siding into the back of the flat-bed truck, traveling at 50-MPH and pulling to the right across 2-lanes without looking, produced a momentary G-Force load of over 30 G's. The impact alone is something I will never forget. It was so violent, I never heard the "bang" of the airbags. The driver's side door was ripped off and a good portion of the driver's side of the vehicle was taken away with it, leaving the entire side of the car open to the outside world.
|The brute impact with the flat-bed truck was enough to tear off the entire front drivers side and door. The vehicle subsequently rolled after the impact causing more damage.|
|Here is a view of the front of my vehicle after the accident. The windshield is destroyed, dashboard cracked, and the roof of the vehicle is caved in. I still cannot imagine how I managed to even escape from this tangled heap of "junk"!|
|This is a close-up of the drivers side of the vehicle. After the accident, some wreckage was tossed into the front seat. Note the airbags (white cloth) deployed from the drivers seat and steering wheel (center and lower-right side of the picture).|
|The only portion of the vehicle that was not totally devastated was the rear. The tail lights are broken, and the warped frame of the car can be seen (larger cracks between the rear hatch-back and body).|
|This is another picture of the damage to the drivers side of the vehicle. The rear windows behind both side doors were also destroyed.|
|Here is a picture of a "Life Flight" helicopter that is very similar to the one I was air-lifted to Memorial East hospital's trauma center after my accident. It's a BK-117 and is state-of-the-art for performance as well as trauma / medical emergency response. It is well equipped with life-support and medical equipment, features a rear-loading door, and flies from 140 to 160-MPH.|
|Here is a picture of myself in East memorial hospital in Hollywood, Florida resting after the accident. Except for 40 stitches above my right eye, other numerous cuts, bruises, and black and blue marks on my face took about 2 weeks to become less noticeable.|
|Here is another picture of myself resting at the hospital a day after the accident before being released. Most of the cuts and bruises were from small debris / flying safety glass.|
|This is the worst part of the injuries sustained, the large cut above the right eye was 3-4 inches in length. A small piece of glass also became embedded in my lower right ear lobe. Scarring from these injuries would mainly be from the cut above my right eye, on my right cheek, and ear lobe.|
|My left leg also sustained some cuts and bruises. Note the burn / scrape mark above my knee from the seat-belt that strained against it during the accident. The cuts on my lower left leg were from more glass and debris. The large scar on my leg left of the burn mark was from a cut on my leg when I was 9 years old and fell off a fence.|
|This is a picture of a simple action that can save your life in an accident - Buckling up! Use your seat belt all the time and every time you drive your car. No one wants to think about a car accident, but whether you are going on a long roadtrip, or just going around the corner, using your seatbelt can make the difference between life and death should an accident happen.|
|The 2006 Ford Focus has a standard driver and passenger front seat airbags. Use of seatbelts AND airbags greatly increases the survivability and / or reduces injuries in the event of an accident. Insist on using them.|
|Side impact airbags are also VERY important safety features, and are standard on some vehicles. Paying extra to have them is a wise investment. Many people do not consider that these side impact airbags do not only protect side impacts from other vehicles, but also protect occupants during rollovers as well. The side impact airbags in the 2006 Ford Focus are built into the seats themselves.|
|This pictures is not showing a "safety feature" per se, but a picture of Jesus Christ I had for "good luck" in the same place on my headliner that it was in the 2006 Ford Focus that was destroyed. It is also the same picture that remained in my car after the accident, while my toll collection (Sunpass) transponder, cellular phone, coffee cup, and CD's were ejected from the vehicle and landed a distance away. Jesus was definitely watching over me through the entire ordeal.|
|About 4-5 months after the accident, the small cuts on my face healed for the most part. The only scars that remained were from the large cut above my right eye and a cut on my right cheek.|
|My lower right ear lobe formed a "knot" of scar tissue around an embedded piece of glass. Plastic surgery might be required to minimize scarring, so a settlement was sought for such damages via an attorney / insurance.|
|Nearly an identical replacement was sought to replace the 2006 Ford Focus. In this picture, a 2007 Ford Focus, with a slightly lighter blue color and same body type, can be seen in Wisconsin after chasing a violent hail storm. Not only was the vehicle replaced by its value, but GAP coverage paid off the depreciated value and remaining balances from the vehicle before it! If you buy a car, and you are offered GAP coverage - Get it!|
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