All photographs provided courtesy of author Anna Lee Haag, a third-year student at Texas Technical University studying wind energy.
July 13, 2015
Two months ago today on May 13 I was in ten car pile up driving home from university for summer break on Interstate 20 on mile marker 269. I started my journey out with one of my friends from university with big plans on what we were going to do once we reached our first stop. Our original plan was to stop by Austin for a night and see live music and eat wonderful food, then continue east towards Houston to visit with family and friends.
On this particular day there was a light fog with a hurricane-like rain coming down on us as we drove on a stretch of Interstate 20 notorious for accidents when it rains. Unfortunately I was unable to see that traffic had come to a standstill ahead because of various other wrecks. I realized that we were coming in too fast to avoid hitting the car in front of me, so I swerved off the road to the left and crashed into the median. I lost control of my car because the ditch was flooded and almost flipped into the oncoming traffic but the median prevented this. The metal bars that once stood proud here were run over by my little car. It ripped out the underside and transmission. I watched the metal bars scrape the driver’s side-door and mirror in awe, and I wondered if this was going to be the last thing I saw in my short life. When the car stopped and I discovered I didn’t have a scratch or bruise on me, it was one of the most relieving things in the world. This feeling lasted about five seconds before two more cars crashed into each other behind me. When the police finally closed off the road and created a detour to prevent further involvement from other people we were finally safe to emerge from the car.
When the damages were finally assessed The entire driver’s side, front bumper, convertible top, and various pieces of the lower part of the car needed to be replaced. From the cosmetic damage alone the car shop estimated over $12,000 in damages not including the ones that could have happened underneath my car. There were no broken windows and for some reason the airbags were not deployed, but because of the large amount of damage underneath the vehicle it was seen as a total loss.
The tire marks left by Haag’s car off of I-20 following her crash.
There were so many things could have happened that day that could have killed us; it is arguably a miracle or act of divine intervention that we walked away completely unharmed. If I had not swerved to the left we would have gone underneath a massive U-Haul killing us on impact. If I had swerved to the right I would have gone underneath a very large wrecker also killing us instantly. If I managed to stop in time the car behind us would have crushed us in between the U-Haul resulting in injuries and worse car damages. With all of the if’s and possible things that could have happened it makes me feel so grateful that my accident had no fatalities, especially with so many people involved in it.
One of the biggest coincidences of the car accident was that on this day four years ago I had just gotten my driver’s license. People always say that your first car is always the most special. It’s what you learn to drive in and it gives you your first taste of freedom. So here’s to you my little friend. Thank you for staying alive through your four years of existence with me. I know that somewhere out there your pieces were salvaged and sold to the highest bidder, but I’d like to thank you for keeping me safe and alive. Looking back on your short life I like to remember all of the good memories that were made with you.
Haag’s car, a blue Volkswagen Beetle, being towed away.
The following is a local news article about the accident and Haag’s car can be seen in the photograph: