(Warning: this post contains details of a car accident.)
So anyway, if any of you folk have been reading my twitter, you'll know that I had a fairly eventful day yesterday.
I discovered the joy of being a generally inexperienced driver in the rain on one of upstate NY's pretty steep hills. Long story short, I'm pretty much ok. The car is not.
I live in Syracuse over the summer, but I work in Utica, and yesterday, I ended up asked to drop by to pick up some papers in Munnsville. I mentioned once, I think, how when I was a kid in Utica, I used to think that the world was bowl-shaped and very small. Munnsville certainly felt like being on the bowl's rim. Even without being able to see down into the valley I could feel how high I was. I didn't know you could feel sea-level before yesterday.
So yeah, I picked up the papers and programmed my mom's GPS to find the way back to Utica. (I find out later, of course, that it picked a not so good route. But at the time, I didn't have any way of knowing that.) I was going down one good-sized hill, lost control of the car, started veering left, over-compensated right, and ended up rolling/flipping into the ditch. (My folks ended up going with the claims adjustor to see the wreckage of the car at the garage, and then the place where I took my dive. Apparently, the way I flipped the car was pretty spectacular.)
I didn't get my life flashing before my eyes or anything poetic like that. All I really had time to think was "Oh fuck-fuck-fuck!" and possibly shriek. I felt like I went upside-down at one point, and evidence would seem to agree with me, as I managed to scrape my head on the ceiling.
Thank god for seat belts. :-)
After that, I was in the car, sideways. Driver's side window gone, and pretty darn close to the ground. I couldn't get the doors open, and I'm pretty sure I freaked out a bit at that point. The road was empty and I didn't know when ANYONE would pass by.
So I looked for my phone, which I'd used briefly before to say "Wow, Munnsville is very high" to my father. Couldn't find it. Found my glasses eventually (they'd flown off), then immediately found my phone which had been under the parking break the whole time I was panicking.
By this time, someone had actually seen the wreck (which I'm told looked pretty spectacular :-)) and came down to talk to me. He called 911 while I called my folks and my work, and tried to get the now-completely-crystallized windshield out. Didn't quite work, but then help came.
It took ten minutes to extract me. A paramedic somehow got in the car behind me and got this tarp thing over my head while they broke the windshield and then cut away the roof of the car to let me out. There were a LOT of people outside too. Firemen, paramedics, and even the sheriff! (I guess because it's a rural area.)
So yeah, then I get an ambulance ride, lots of questions, and the Sheriff (who was young and cute. :-)) agreed to take my documents in to my work for me.
I kind of wish I'd been there, because that sounds dramatic. I'd grabbed the envelope and slid it out the window before they cut off the roof and so I know that the envelope had quite a bit of my blood, and a few strands of hair, on it. So a uniformed guy came in with a blood covered envelope for my boss.
She called not long after that just to be SURE I was okay and said I "went above and beyond". Heh.
The hospital bit was long but pretty uneventful. X-rays and the like. I scraped the hell out of my left elbow, and as mentioned previously, pretty much scalped myself on the ceiling. They let me out of the hospital at about 12:30, which isn't too bad considering the whole thing happened at 9:15-9:30 ish.
Unfortunately, I've got a nice bald spot now, and hair fell out in my very careful shower. Which is pretty annoying. I'll need to get a hat of some kind.
Oddly the elbow hurts more than my skinned head. Not sure why. But I can tell you that head wounds do indeed bleed something awful. I really liked that shirt! I got to go home in two hospital gowns.
So yeah, that's how it totalled. Me: okay. Car/clothes/hair: pretty fucked. My parents are kind of traumatized, and I got some good pain killers. I'm grateful for the empty road now, since I didn't actually hit anything or hurt anyone. I'm embarrassed though and going to be facing a safer driving lecture in a few days. (My parents are holding off until I feel better. Heh.)
(As an added dose of lucky, my computer, which I bring to work, had been in its bag, wedged between passenger seat and dashboard. It stayed pretty much in place and did NOT become a projectile toward my head. I'm typing on the computer now, and everything's working fine.)
I'll tell you one thing though, I will never again mock New York's draconian seatbelt law. I had a great uncle who was a passenger in a car that flipped like that, and somehow he ended up crushed under it. Me, I just need some hats and a good deal of neosporin. Biggest difference was the seatbelt.
So yeah, that was my day. All things considered, I was tremendously lucky. (Though I'm sad about missing my favorite cousin's graduation from High School today. It's probably for the best, as right now, I suspect I look hideous enough to frighten small children.)