Coming across a bad auto accident

<p>Having a hard time sleeping, as I saw the aftermath of a bad accident this afternoon. I wasn't the first on the scene, but saw a body lying on the side of the road next to a car on it's side. There was a small group of people standing about 6 feet from the body and the body wasn't moving, so I assumed the worst. It would have been nice had someone used a blanket to cover the victim.</p>

<p>I'd have a hard time with that also. Very disturbing and sad for all concerned. The act of covering a body must feel so final and in the summer especially, there may not have been anything available to use. I could also see how bystanders would feel that someone else would have to make that call. People obviously could be immobile for a lot of reasons, though it seems a person obviously alive would have others huddled around them.
Sorry for you and those involved. It is a tough reminder of how life can change in an instant.
It is traumatic to see that and a very hard image to push away.
Best to you...</p>

<p>I am so sorry Toledo - I had that experience during this time of year as well. We heard the approaching sirens, but you feel so helpless until people who are profesionally trained to handle the emergency arrive, especially if you don't have the training or anything in your vehicle that could be used to assist (I have a small tarp in the back of my car all the time now for various uses). Since it happened during a popular sporting event the memory comes back every year when the event is on TV, and I say a little prayer for the family's peace since I looked up online afterward that both the husband and wife had died.</p>

<p>Oh, Rachacha, that's got to be difficult and travelnut makes a good point about "making the call". I figured there would be others on her who have experienced the same thing. On two occasions, I've been the first person to come upon an accident. I've always carry a blanket in the trunk of my car and offered it to the vehicle occupants, as I've heard it wards off shock. In the first case, both occupants just remained quiet, with their eyes closed. I don't think their injuries were severe, and was surprised they weren't in more of a panic state. That wreck happened right in front of a fire station, so help was there within 2 minutes.</p>

<p>I'm a volunteer EMT and auto accidents are often hard calls. One of the first things you are taught it to call for backup (or point at a specific person and say 'you call 911' - it gives them ownership) if you happen upon a scene. You then must make the scene safe before you jump in, as you can't help anyone if you become a patient too. </p>

<p>Just because someone is lying on the ground, that doesn't mean they are dead - it's actually the best position for someone in an auto accident to be in until help arrives. A huge concern with auto accidents is spine/neck injuries. It would be best if the patient does not leave the car, but you know they all do if they can! If I came upon a scene without my rig, I would have the person lie down and then stabilize their neck until a rigid collar could be put on them. Blankets are good to keep patients warm, as they can easily go into shock with any injury. </p>

<p>Best advice - take a first aid class so you know how to handle emergencies.</p>

<p>Oh Toledo, I know exactly how you feel having seen a similar situation years ago. I'm a nurse and have assisted at roadside accidents before but I was alone with my kids who were toddlers/infants at that time. I knew the guy dead so I decided the best thing was to keep going to allow for the pros to get in. I called the state police the next day to confirm it was a DOA.
I was haunted by the fact that this guy was so simply alone in his last minutes.</p>

<p>One month after h.s. grad. S2 was following his two best friends down a winding country shortcut road where lot of people speed. They were returning from a trip to the mall. They were speeding,ran off the road on a tight curve when a car met them from other direction. The overcorrected,flipped the car and both were thrown from the car. Neither were wearing seatbelts. Friend 1 was lying dead beside the car. Friend 2 was thrown into a nearby grassy area but was not breathing when paramedics arrived. He was airlifted to the hospital where he lived for ten days on life support (never regaining consciousness) before dying of pneumonia. My S2 witnessed the whole thing,called 911 and waited there with his two dead/dying friends. S2 was supposed to be in the car with them but was late meeting them so they left without him and S2 drove separately to the mall.</p>

<p>S2, at eighteen, had to be a pall bearer at the funerals of his two best friends (everybody called them the Three Amigos) within ten days. No kid should ever have to do that. It was horrific.<br>
It was in the newspaper and on the TV news. S2 was interrogated by the police, the insurance companies, the ALE (beer was found on the road by the wrecked car but no one had been drinking).<br>
There was talk of charges of racing being made. They weren't racing. I can't even begin to say how bad it was. </p>

<p>S2 left for college three weeks later.
He pretty much failed everything that first semester but was glad to not be in our town with all the talk and the memories. I'm certain now that he suffered from depression during that semester but he's not a guy to talk to strangers about personal stuff. He hid things well from us. </p>

<p>It's been three years now. S2 worked through it and got his life/school back on track.
He still has a pic of him and his two buddies on the start page of his laptop. He will never forget what happened as long as he lives.</p>

<p>What a horrific story, PackMom. I know it would give me nightmares to think how close S2 came to being in the car with the others. <<hugs to="" him="">>></hugs></p>

<p>I can see why you would lose sleep over that. Thank goodness for compassionate people like you Toledo who DO lose sleep or stop to assist. Amazing how many people just drive by, not caring...</p>

<p>Packmom, I remember when you first posted about S2's experience. I had recently gone to the funeral of recent HS grad. To this day, the mom won't join our annual party. (i've known the family for 20 years.)</p>

<p>abasket - 99% of the times, driving by is the best thing to do if there is already people there. You will only clog up the road posing a risk to yourself and other people, and potentially hindering arrival of professional help.</p>

<p>^^^ Of course, but I'm talking about "first one on the scene".</p>

<p>Yes, there's a big difference between being the first on the scene and 10th on the scene. If any of the witnesses thought this person was still alive, wouldn't they have been standing around him/her, instead of several feet away? I would have hoped someone would have checked for breathing and pulse. Here's a good article:</p>

<p>First</a> on the Scene of an Auto Accident - What to do? : ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine</p>

<p>
[quote]
Just because someone is lying on the ground, that doesn't mean they are dead - it's actually the best position for someone in an auto accident to be in until help arrives.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>And nj2011mom is absolutely right. I just called the police dept. The person was still alive, but "no one wanted to get involved", according to the police officer. I feel better about the victim, but worse about the bystanders.</p>

<p>How horrible for all of you with such tragic stories.</p>

<p>I had a runner at a 10K race collapse and die in my lap. That was 10 years ago. I can still see it in my head as if it was yesterday.</p>

<p>These stories are so sad. I haven't ever had such an experience but h coming home late one night saw a fatal accident occur. (crossed the median into oncoming traffic, he actually had to jam his truck into reverse so it wouldn't be hit by the engine hurtling down the freeway)
Before he had a cell phone, not that he would have remembered he had one. He did put his jacket under the drivers head and stayed until medics arrived, but there wasn't much else he could do.</p>

<p>Carrying a blanket is a good idea. I used to have a first aid kit in the car but over the years it became depleted, this is a good reminder to restock it. Even just to have a blanket, flares and water.</p>

<p>Sent from my iPhone using CC</p>

<p>Wow, toledo, that is hard to imagine that if the person was alive, that those who stopped were not right there with the person. </p>

<p>Unfortunately, my own kid was in a serious car crash at age 16 where her car flipped over several times on the highway. While she doesn't recall doing this, a witness who stopped said she crawled out of a broken window (car was on its side) and crawled to the edge of the interstate where she was lying. A few people stopped (she was conscious) and besides calling for the ambulance, one asked my D for her parents' phone number and called (I was traveling home but was out of state), and another put a blanket on her. I will forever be grateful to these random people who were with my D during a time of need. They were very caring. One man was so torn up by this that he later contacted us to ask to visit her in the hospital and to come to our home (not near where he lived) when she eventually came home to check on how she was doing. There are truly many good samaritans out there. Hope you never need one, however.</p>

<p>PackMom, Jym, what horrible stories. My heart really goes out to you, and especially to your son, PackMom. </p>

<p>Having someone die as you are with them, holding their hand as the warm turns to cold, is a experience that fills me with awe for the power of life whenever I remember it. I just can't understand how anyone, other than soldiers or police officers, could cause another person to die, if they have experienced that.</p>

<p>Note--not for the squeamish.
When I was 16 or 17 I was riding my mototcycle to work the breakfast shift at HoJos early in the morning. It was a foggy summer morning and I came upon a wrecked car and two cops at a major truck vs car accident . I stopped near the wrecked car and asked the cop what happened--he said the truck ran the light and hit the car. The second cop was about 30 feet away in some weeds. I asked tha cop what he was doing and he said, "he's looking for the head". Then I noticed the large blood smear along the roof line of the driver's side of the car. Most did not use seatbelts back then--if they even had them. It took some time to get over that image but I went on to work anyway--very carefully..</p>

<p>Everyone should take a basic first aid course and learn things like CPR and Heimlich. Chances are high one day you will use skills. In Florida it is so common for infants to fall into swimming pools, CPR skills can save lives and are almost a must for everyone.</p>