Here's what happened . . . (archive)

Posted by Guinn on September 28, 1999 at 10:17:30:

In Reply to: pictures of a Z3 wreck (a bad one)... posted by Alan on September 27, 1999 at 21:53:23:

Two months ago, a close friend of mine, Mike, was driving his '99 2.3 in downtown Austin. Around midnight, Mike was giving a friend a ride back to Camp Mabry when Mike ran a stop sign and broadsided an Austin city bus at the rear axle and engine. Speed estimates vary from 30 to 50 mph, but an accurate figure is impossible--ABS prevented most of the skid marks, and witness accounts vary wildly.

For what it's worth, the stop sign was partially obscured by a temporary building on a construction site.

A perfect "t-bone" impact, both driver and passenger were subjected to the same impact. Mike, whom I have never seen NOT wear his belt, forgot to put it on that night. His passenger wore her belt. Mike's upper body was caught by the airbag, however, his lower body was slammed into the lower dash below the steering wheel.

As you know, the lower dash has only so much "give" to it. With so much inertial energy to shed, once his knees and legs bottomed out, something had to give. Mike's femur pretty much exploded outside his leg (they never found all the pieces) and the ball joint of his hip snapped off. His foot was crushed so badly that his shoe is still embedded in the floorboard. One of the nerves in his foot was stretched out badly enough that his foot and toes will tend to drag on that side when he can walk.

After the initial moment of impact, when Mike's body recoiled back from the airbag and dash, his head apparently smacked the roll hoop. Mike's brain began to swell. At the hospital, doctors were unable to perform the necessary brain scans because Mike's condition was too unstable. Mike didn't regain consciousness for several days, and was incoherent for about five weeks. Neuropsychologists were concerned about permanent brain damage.

Mike is now out of the hospital, and has progressed from a wheelchair to crutches. He hopes to begin walking this week. He lost 65 pounds through his ordeal, and spent six weeks in the hospital. His medical bills are staggering, but he's insured. Importantly, Mike seems to have suffered no permanent brain injury.

And Mike's passenger? She received four(or five?) stitches on her hand and was immediately released from the hospital. She was bruised from the seat belt.

The moral of the story is apparent.

I would like to thank Alan and Nancy for their kind words and support. You are very kind and thoughtful people.

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