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Ballet Talk for Dancers

Accident on the way home from class


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Hey everyone,


I'm not sure where this should go..........I guess I just need emotional support.


I had had a really good class last night and had just hit the interstate on the 30 mile commute home. It was around 7:45pm. At the next exit an 18 wheeler got on and myself and two vehicles in front of me both merged into the left lane to allow it to get on the interstate. The truck was one of those hauling trailers, where the top is open. There are a lot of coal fields in this area and there is also a limestone rock quarry right off the exit where he got on at. Anyways, the bed had a tarp over it but it was not fastened down securely. The truck immediately picked up enough speed to pass me and the two vehicles in front of me and then merged into the left lane in front of us to pass up slower moving traffic.


Within two miles of this truck getting on the interstate something slammed into my windshield (at approximately 67 mph) and shattered it. It sounded like a shotgun had blasted my car. My first response was shutting my eyes, bracing, and jumping OFF of the gas. I re-opened my eyes to see what had happened and realized my windshield was shattered. So I was freaked, but okay. Then I realized there was glass all over the inside of the car. At that point all I thought was, "MY EYES!!!", because I just had eye surgery three weeks ago. The next exit was coming up and I knew I needed to get off the road and assess the situation.


What I am not sure about is the SUV in front of me. Both of us had the exact same reaction. We both immediately merged into the right lane, and both immediately got off the next exit. (Keep in mind this is all within 4 miles of me getting on the interstate, and within 3 miles of the truck getting on.) I went one way and into the nearest fast-food lot, and they went the other way where it is better lit, etc. I'm not sure if that SUV was hit by something from the truck and it ricocheted back and hit me or if, as someone else suggested by their reaction, if perhaps a brake shoe broke off the SUV and flew back and hit me.


When I got to the fast-food lot I got out and looked and I had glass all over the dashboard, the floorboard, I had been sitting in glass, there was even glass in the floorboard behind my seat and in the backseat. At that point I called my Mom and when she answered I pretty much went hysterical on the phone. She and my step-dad came down to get me (even though I'm 29......this is the first accident I have ever had). My step-dad is a pretty hard person, but when he saw the damage the only thing he said was, "how are you standing here?" The windshield was so badly damaged that it looked like if it took a bump good the entire thing would go. My step-dad drove it home for me.


Meanwhile, today I've had the lovely task of dealing with the insurance people. I've had my insurance with the same people since 1993 and they are local folks so they know my driving history, etc. They got right on the claim. I took some pictures with my digital camera and when they saw the damage they couldn't believe I hadn't been hurt. They said that you usually only see broken glass on the inside like that when it is a head-on collision. So something either hit me very, very hard and fast, or was very large (or both). Thankfully since it was a "flying object" it is covered under my comprehensive and the damage to the hood, the windshield, the towing (they had to tow it in today) and a rental car if needed are all 100% covered so I don't have to pay a deductible or anything.


I work the same 30 miles away and somehow tomorrow have to find some courage to get back on the interstate to go to work. I sent some pics to one of my co-workers today and they were all pretty freaked out when they saw them. There were actually three points of impact.........we think it hit the hood first and went up and hit the lower part of the window, then bounced again and hit about mid-ways up. It is the impact mid-ways up that has scared everyone. Everyone has said that if it had came through the window I would very likely either be dead or very seriously hurt.


I don't know if this is what is considered "grace under pressure," but everyone is wondering how I held my composure together to not go off the road, hit another car, and managed to get myself off the interstate and into a lot safely. THEN I went all to pieces. Needless to say a very large panic attack hit once I was stopped.


Here are some pictures of the damage. On the one showing the dashboard it was really hard to get a good shot showing all the glass inside because the sun kept reflecting off the broken windshield.


I think for tomorrow's commute I may need an oxygen tank and several nerve pills to get me there. But it's like I told my Mom today, this could have happened at 7:30am on my way to work. It could have happened anytime, anywhere. That is just one of the dangers I face by working out of town. Anyways, I didn't go to ballet tonight. I called and told the AAD and she was a little unhappy until I told her what happened. Then I called her Mom (the AD) too, because sometimes they don't always communicate things to each other. I told the Mom I was emotionally traumatized by the interstate and just didn't think I could face up to getting on there and driving down today. She told me she absolutely understood and the main thing was that I am okay and to just rest today and not worry about it.


So yeah. That's been the last 48 hours of my life.




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Ouch! Well, thank heaven you're all right! When the story started, I thought we were in for a "rolling box-in" carjacking story. :)

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So glad you're OK!!!

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Oh my, that sounds AWFUL! It's totally OK to be fallen apart after that, you need to treat yourself well. So glad to find that you weren't hurt. Reminds me of how Sep. 11 traumatized us all right before the start of our fall season; I took a week away when I otherwise would have been training in preparation for rehearsals.

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That is very brave of you to 'get back on the horse you got thrown from' and continue commuting within the same week as the accident. I believe that we can't live our lives in fear and we will die when its time, but close brushes are always scary. I hope you can take some time for yourself this weekend to let yourself recover from something so scary. I can't imagine. :D:sweating:

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I took care of my business today (using my Granny's car to get around) and then came home and haven't left the house since. She wanted me to go back out this evening to go to the grocery store and I was like.............."You mean...........you want me to............drive?" So my Mom went and got what we needed after she got off from work. I've actually slept a lot today. I managed to get a good night's sleep last night but I just felt so drained today.


A funny little side note......when I had to call the claim in to the insurance place they wanted to confirm that there were no injuries. I said, "does emotional trauma count?" There was this stunned silence on the other end. Then the lady started fumbling for words and finally said, "Um........yes, if you go to the doctor for it." I started laughing and told her I didn't think I needed a doctor but I was totally serious about being traumatized a little bit.


So I did manage to get a little humor into the situation today.




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So glad your ok. It's amazing how people can keep their wits in scary situations. I completely understand the "emotional trauma".

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Oh, dear. I am also glad to hear that physically you are okay! Particularly that your eyes are fine! How scary. I hope someone was able to report the accident and that the trucker or trucking company takes better precautions in the future.

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Not a ballet student, but a mom who had a similar thing last winter, in icy weather. I was calm enough to stay safe and get home (and keep the kid reassured as well), but I have to admit that to this day, almost a year later, I'm still a little jumpy driving if the traffic is heavy or the weather is bad. For a few weeks I would literally sweat when I drove, and driving just for fun or for something non-essential was right out. Be patient with yourself, talk yourself through it, and just work on staying calm. It will get much easier. You need to remind yourself (and anyone who gets impatient with you) that it was a terrible shock, and that of course you're going to have some post-trauma difficulty for a while. Thank goodness you're okay!

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So sorry to hear about your accident, but so glad to hear that you are physically ok. I'm a little traumatized from reading your story, i cna't imagine how you must feel, having actually gone through all of that! :)


Do take care of yourself and talk, talk, talk about what happened, sometimes that can be the best medicine. We're all here for you! I hope the insurance works out well and I hope you have some ballet in your near future to help with those frazzled nerves! :hyper:

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Glad you're ok- as always, we are here for you. Class may help you work this out if you can steel yourself to get there. Sending you mental courage.

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Lil update........


I used my Granny's car to get to work today. I drove a whopping 55mph, parked myself in the right lane, and let everyone else pass me. Granted.........it took about 15 minutes longer to get to work, but at least I could breathe somewhat during the trip (although I did have white knuckles from gripping the steering wheel so hard!).


I got the estimate on my car today and there is $843 worth of damage. :wink: Yeah. They've already ordered a new windshield and don't think the hood damage is bad enough to warrent replacement. They are going to take the lining out of it and somehow take the dents out. They are hoping to get it fixed and back to me by Wednesday evening.


I went ahead and got a rental car this evening. Granny's car is rather old and I don't really trust it for very many trips to and from work. Coming back this evening I took what used to be the old highway before the interstate was built. So there were no trucks and was very little traffic to deal with. I got a Nissan Sentra for my rental. It's silver too. Granny thought I was in my car when I came back! :blushing:


As for ballet...........I'm hitting the interstate tomorrow on the way to class! I'll more than likely head out a little earlier and drive a little slower on my way there. But things are going really well for me with classes so far so I don't want to miss anymore than I have to and lose what I've managed to gain. I'm actually really looking forward to it. Ballet is definitely a stress reliever for me!


Thanks for all the kind words and well wishes. Just everyone always be careful out there. I told my Mom this morning that I am a person who very much likes to be in control of everything...........and suddenly it just hits you, at 70mph, driving down the interstate........that you really aren't as in control of things as you'd like to think!




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