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Life Changed: Family Outing Nightmare
Interstate 78 Westbound, New Jersey
A semi-truck was traveling eastbound hauling a modular home. The semi lost its load and lost control, continuing across the median and struck the van that I was in head on.
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On July 22, 1988 on Interstate 78 westbound in New Jersey, my life changed. I was 6 years old at the time and I can remember that day like it was yesterday. A semi-truck was traveling eastbound hauling a modular home. The semi lost its load and lost control, continuing across the median and struck the van that I was in head on. My Grandfather was driving, my father was the front passenger, my mom and brother was in the middle 2 seater, and my grandmother and I were in the back. Upon impact my grandmother flew forward striking the dash board breaking her neck. My grandfather was pinned in the car and it took some time to get him out (this was before the jaws of life). He was life flighted and passed away later that night. My father had many bones broken and lost most of his foot that was reconstructed by skin and muscle from his back. When he was in the hospital he contracted a bone disease and wasn't suppose to make it through the night, but he did and is still around.
My mother also had many bones broken, pins in her leg and casts, but is also still here. My brother obtained a hyper-extended neck and was only in the hospital for a few weeks prior to being released. My grandfather, father, mother, and brother were all life flighted. My injuries were minimal I had a few cuts and bruises and was release in 2 days. After getting into my career, 18yrs later, I got the urge to call to the fire department that was out at the scene to see if anyone still worked there that I could thank. I ended up speaking with the Chief that was a Firefighter at that time that was out at the scene. I didn't tell him who I was I just told him where and when it happened and what it involved. He filled in all the other details and told me the only reason why he remembered it was cause there was a little girl that was ejected from the vehicle. I was the only little girl and I'm lucky to be here. He also told me us hitting the semi would of been like us hitting a concrete wall going 80mph. I just want to thank all the people that stopped to help us and to all the fire fighters and officers that were out at the scene. They are why I'm in my career helping other people everyday.
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