Accidents happen to anyone

  • Published
  • By Ann Callan
  • 71st Flying Training Wing
Greetings Team Vance! Having read all the articles about safety and driving, I never expected an automobile accident to happen to me, but it did. It can happen to you too!
On Sept. 26, while Colonel Callan enjoyed NFL football, I took the girls on an adventure to a friend's house southeast of Waukomis. It was the first time I had ever been on red dirt Oklahoma roads, and the ride out there was beautiful. The skies were blue and the sun was shining. We had a wonderful time riding horses and visiting with our friends. At 5:30 p.m. we departed to head home with anticipation of a great steak dinner and sharing tales of our adventure with the colonel.
About three miles from Highway 81 heading west, it happened! (I'm still shaking today as I recall the incident.) I passed a car about a mile earlier. I slowed slightly because it's not a wide two lane road. As I came over the rise, I was cautious because you never know what is zooming towards you on the other side. Things looked good -- no dust coming in my direction. Then I saw the unmarked intersection and a truck approaching as I was approaching. I was on her right, so she should have been yielding to me. When I realized she wasn't stopping, I did everything I could think of doing. I stepped on the brakes, blew the horn and tried to turn to the right at the intersection. Unfortunately, it was too late. Bam! My front driver's side hit her front passenger's side and with my trying to turn, the rear end hit next right behind her cab. We coasted to a stop while both air bags deployed. I recall seeing the passenger's bag deploy in slow motion.
I checked to see if the girls were okay. They were, except for bumping their heads on the glass. I checked on the other driver and her daughter -- they were okay, except where her daughter had bumped the glass with her head. Meanwhile my leg was swelling, just below the knee where my leg had hit the dash while I was braking. Everyone got out of their cars and it was then I saw the extent of the damage. The car was totaled, but fortunately all the passengers in both vehicles were alive. We were so lucky! God was with us that day.
At this writing I am still having neck pain and the bump below my knee which had swelled to the size of a grapefruit gets better daily. I am thankful that my children had no further physical injuries, and that the other people involved are okay. I can still see the crash and hear it and know that it will be with me and my daughters for a long time. If I could take back that day I would do it all differently.
I hope this story will help you be safer on the roads. It can happen and when you least expect. Drive a little slower, be more aware of your surroundings. I hope you never have to experience a car accident. Be safe, Team Vance ... please!