Shared Stories: No Stopping a Determined Driver

Statistic show that a fair number of young people today are not as anxious to drive as teenagers were many decades ago. Janice Collins learned to drive on the back roads of Colorado, and even a rollover accident didn’t deter her or her friend. Shared Stories is a weekly column featuring articles by participants in a writing class at the Norwalk Senior Center. Bonnie Mansell is the instructor for this free class offered through the Cerritos College Adult Education Program.  Curated by Carol Kearns.

By Janice Collins

I’ve been in two car accidents that were the rollover kind. The first was when my girlfriend Delores and I were travelling near her home on sandy country roads in Colorado.

She hit a rut in the road near a large ditch, causing the car to swerve.  We rolled over and the car landed on the embankment. I was not trapped, just tossed around in the car, and I lost my glasses and shoes.

When I couldn’t see her, I crawled out of the window on my side and went around the car trying to find her. Her head was sticking out from under the car which was upside down and covering her body.

She was conscious, and asked me not to leave her because it was such a terrifying thing to have happened.  Since I could not help her, I left, telling her that I was going for help.
I ran faster than I had ever run before, shoeless and without glasses, to the nearest farm house to make phone calls.

When I got to a house with a fenced yard, the dogs didn’t accept me.  So I hollered for help. The people heard me and made phone calls, and then took me back to the site.

An ambulance came for Delores and the parents of both of us also came. Fortunately, Delores was in a small depression under the car, and it must have been made when we hit the embankment and rolled over.  

She was only bruised, no broken bones or concussion. I was taken to the doctor’s just to be checked.  We were both about seventeen and the accident didn’t deter us from driving.  Our parents were calm and didn’t want us to feel any worse than we already did.

My second rollover accident involved my car. My husband was taking us to Denver to visit my father who had ulcer surgery.

We hit a slick spot in the paved road, after a rain storm. We slid and rolled the car. The car was totaled.

My husband’s finger was badly cut, and he held it in place while we tried to stop the bleeding. We were fortunate that a passerby stopped to take us to the Denver hospital so he could get stitches.

My husband was a very brave person to have handled the situation so well.  He was more worried about me instead of himself.  

Once again, the accident didn’t stop us from driving.