Hit and Run

My car after the accident Last night my 7-year-old son Isaac and I were driving home from his karate class, cracking silly jokes and making up goofy names for Star Wars characters (his favorite was “Luke Pottywalker”).  Nearing a busy intersection, I slowed down, but the light was green so I kept going.


Another driver slams into us.  He ran the red light and hit us hard on the driver’s side.

Glass is flying everywhere, my car is no longer under my control.  My son yells.  We stop moving, all I see is pieces of glass.  And blood.

The blood is coming from my son.  It’s pouring down his neck.

I hold his hand, tell him everything’s going to be fine, hoping he hears the calmness in my voice and doesn’t see the panic in my eyes.

I see the other driver take off.  Sounds like he’s got a flat tire, but the son-of-a-bitch drives off anyway.  And nobody is stopping to see if we’re hurt – they just keep driving, like it’s not their business, they don’t have time to get involved.

I dial 911.  They put me on hold.  Dammit, answer my call!  They answer, and I tell them what happened as calmly as I can.  I’m bounced around to three different call centers.  This is taking too long!

A kind woman (I never got her name) appeared at my son’s window and asked him his age, where he goes to school, anything to soothe him while I talked with 911.  Thank you, you made up for the heartless souls who kept driving instead of checking on us.

The paramedics and the police are on their way.  I hold my son’s hand, and I’m humbled by his strength.  He tells me he’s fine – scared, but fine.  We talk until the ambulance arrives.

The paramedics carefully sweep the broken glass from Isaac’s hair, face, shoulders, man, it’s everywhere.  They gently lift him out of the car and place him on a stretcher, and I escape through the passenger door.  Holding his hand the whole time, I follow as he’s placed in the ambulance.  They tell us he’s okay – there’s a lot of blood, but nothing life-threatening.  The blood is mainly from a cut below his chin, which is deep and will need stitches.

On the way to the hospital, they tell us they found the other vehicle – it was abandoned a few blocks from the accident.  They haven’t found the other driver yet, but they will.  The bastard hurt my son and fled the scene, but I’m trying to swallow my anger and focus on what’s important right now.

My wife meets us at the hospital, and we wait in the emergency room for an hour, my son strapped to a back board in a gurney the whole time.  He’s uncomfortable, but we’re told he needs to stay on the back board until the doctor sees him in case he has a neck or back injury.  We play games like rock, paper, scissors while we wait.

At one point Isaac did a few expert armpit farts while a nurse was in the room, and I’m secretly proud of him for doing that.

The doctor arrives, checks him out, and says his neck and back appear fine but they want to run a CAT scan to be sure.  In the meantime, my adrenaline rush has worn off, and I realize my neck and shoulders are really sore, so I ask to get a CAT scan myself just to be safe.  They strap me onto a board just like the one my son is on, which he thinks is pretty funny.

It takes forever, but we’re told we’re okay.   Glass falls off Isaac as he sits up, and the doctor starts the process of suturing the wound on his chin.  I tell Isaac that the stitches won’t hurt, but they need to give him a shot to take away the pain.  The shot is awful – they have to give it to him right in the wound, and Isaac is trying not to cry but I know it’s hurting more than anything in his life ever has.  I give him my hand and tell him to squeeze it as hard as he wants, and the shot is finally over.  The suturing is gruesome, but it’s painless for Isaac. Six quick stitches, and it’s done.

We finally leave the hospital, and the ride home was nerve-wracking for both Isaac and myself.  We relive the accident every time we perceive a car getting too close, and he worries out loud about the window breaking again.  We get home around 1AM, and sleep comes easier than any of us expected.

This morning I’m able to reflect on the accident, thankful that it wasn’t worse.  The flying glass could’ve caused far graver injuries, and given that the other car slammed head-first into the driver’s side, I’m amazed that I’m not really hurt (I’m glad I bought a Volvo).  And Isaac just woke up, and he’s happy – elated, in fact, because he gets to skip school today and play video games (something he’s normally only permitted to do on weekends).

So I guess we’re fine.  Shaken, but fine.  And now another day starts.

93 thoughts on “Hit and Run

  1. Hey Nick, glad to hear you are both ok.
    That scares the crap out of me. The thought of an accident happening to my family is truly bothersome. I pray to God to always watch over them. You may want to consider “tinting” your windows. It does not have to be dark tint. The window film will hold the glass together in the event of a break. I have a friend who is the 3M dealer in your area– if you need a number. Again, glad you and Isaac are phyically ok. You were always a little mental ;)

  2. Man, I am really glad you guys are ok. I hate stupid people and I cant believe that jerk fled the scene. But I feel confident one way or another he will get what he deserves.
    Really I am just glad you are both mostly ok. Great story telling by the way, i was on the edge of my seat.

  3. Crikey. Glad you two made it out OK and that you kept your head, Nick.
    I remember getting stitches in my ankle when I was a kid. What you said about it not hurting except for the anesthetic injection flashed me back to my mom holding my hand so tight as I cried my eyes out. It hurts like the dickens and then goes all numb.

  4. I am *so* glad everyone is ok. Let us know if they got the SOB that did this to you…

  5. Holy cow. Nick, I’m really glad to know that you and your son are OK. This is the second story you’ve posted that has made my hair stand on end thinking about how I would feel in a similar situation. Your family is lucky to have someone ilke you taking care of them.

  6. Nick, glad to hear you and your son are ok, Hope they catch the bugger who hit you.

  7. As with the others, glad you were not seriously hurt physically and hope they get that guy soon before he does this to anyone else.

  8. LOTD: October 17

    Nick Bradbury and his son, Isaac, were in a car accident – a hit-and-run, no less – on Monday night, and both are okay. Our best wishes for the both of them from here at OTD, and we’re glad that…

  9. Hey Nick….
    My first thoughts when reading this were “Man what weird luck this year for you and Isaac…first the kayak incident and now this!” :(
    I won’t say “bad” luck however, since you’ve both come out okay both times.
    Sad to hear of all the people just driving on, but glad there was at least one “helping hand” out there.
    Hopefully justice will prevail and they’ll find and punish the “hitter.”

  10. I’m very glad to hear that you both are Ok. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I hope that they catch the guy who hit you.

  11. Wow. I raced to the end of your post for what I hoped would be good news. Very glad to hear you and your son are safe.
    As a fellow parent, these kinds of stories always impact me: all the better when they turn out OK.

  12. Agree with Raymond. The other driver should be ashamed of what he did. Let’s hope our criminal justice system does not let you or your son down.

  13. Nick, we’re all grateful you and your son are alive and well after such a traumatic incident. It’s the kind of thing we always hear about but assume happens to “other people.” We hope your son’s recovery is swift, and that law enforcement does their job to help determine who is responsible.

  14. Nick, is this the same son who had the close call with you in a kayack last summer? You guys are on your way to writing a book of adverntures. Stay safe.

  15. Nick, thanks for all the great work you do, and I’m glad to hear you and your son are ok, and that it wasn’t anymore serious than it could’ve been.

  16. Nick, I am glad to hear that everything turned out alright, especially after reading the first few sentences of your post. Here’s hoping that the fool who is responsible for this is caught.

  17. I’m glad for you that everything seems to be so relatively well, it’s shocking to read a story like this. I begin to believe you have someone holding a hand over your family.

  18. Nick, good grief my man, you do live an exciting life . I am utterly relieved to see that you’re both OK. Ra ra for Volvos. Big hint (my wife’s a DA): keep in touch with the DAs office to ensure they don’t plea the other driver down to something ridiculous. Cheers, Julian.

  19. Nick,
    I am glad you and your son are O.K.
    I had a wreck several years ago and I am still skidish like you described. I hope we can all get over those feelings and drive normally again.

  20. Wow Nick Glad you and your Son are ok. I would have freaked out Blood on me from me ok, Blood from my kid, man another story all together.
    Nice to see Volvo lived up to it’s reputation I have one as well. Those side impacts are a bitch keep an eye on your son real close for the next few days.

  21. Glad you and your son are ok. It is moments like this when priorities come into sharp focus. Cherish every moment.

  22. Holy cow.
    All I can think is that between this and the kayak, Isaac is one tough son of a gun.
    Sure hope you can bring your family to the Christmas party this year. It may be too early to buy him a beer, but I’d sure like to shake his hand.

  23. Nick!
    WOW! All my best. We here at NG are all glad you are doing well. And Isaac sounds like he is Super Strong! Well done!
    I can really relate to your commentary about our seemingly careless society! Good thing you were in the “Swedish Tank” — bad thing you even needed it!
    Hope they catch the SOB!

  24. Forgot to mention that I guess that’s one way to resolve the Crazy Poopin’ Bird problem. Though, I would have gone with the socks over the mirrors, myself.

  25. Hey Nick,
    It’s really relieving to know that you and your son are ok. My prayers are with you and your family. And make sure you hunt down that ba*tard and kick him where it hurts the most.

  26. Wow – that was really moving. I’m glad you and your boy are OK. You’re both very brave, I would be so lucky to remain so calm under that kind of duress. Best to your family.

  27. Hey Nick,
    Glad to hear that you and your son are fine and wish you quick recovery from any aches and pains. Those Volvo’s are great aren’t they. I drive one too and they are life savers. A friend of mine was driving my car and got hit from the back and Volvo saved his life.

  28. Wow. What a jerk… I can’t believe he just drove away.
    Glad everyone is ok…. except for a few cuts.
    “We relive the accident every time we perceive a car getting too close, and he worries out loud about the window breaking again. ”
    Yeah…… I got side swipped a few years ago and kept thinking the same thing would happen….. probably some form of post traumatic stress syndrome.
    I got over it in a few days/weeks so you guys should be ok too! :)

  29. Nick,
    Here’s to a speedy recovery both physical and emotional for both you and your son (and your wife too, as she’s problably gonna fret for a little while everytime you guys go out).
    I am very glad you are both OK.
    Also, WRITE DOWN as much minute detail as possible while the memories are fresh, as you will be glad to have notes to refer to as you answer the endless questions from the authorities and your insurance company and to aid you in presenting a consistent account about exactly what happened.

  30. Nick Bradbury involved in a HIT-AND-RUN accident

    They are both fine, but Nick Bradbury and his 7-year old son were involved in a hit-and-run accident last night. Nick’s account of the story is remarkable and really reminds us about what’s really important. Go here to read Nick’s

  31. Nick, I have been reading your blog for years now, and admiring your work for even longer. I usually never comment on other peoples blog entries, but this time I simply had to. Your story touched me, and I must admit that I kept thinking “Damn I hope they find that S.O.B as soon as possible” the whole time while reading it. Now that I’ve read it all, I still hope they find the bastard!!
    I’m glad to hear that you and your son is okay – keep inspiring people with your great work and your interesting blog!

  32. Nick – I’m glad you and your son are okay, more or less. I got t-boned like that about 7 years ago and while it was just me in the car and the other driver didn’t run off after running a red light, he never even came over to my car. He stood there by his pickup as passerby checked on me and called the police and ambulance. I ended up with a broken knee, hip, and ribs and rehab. You were both very lucky, and I’m glad.

  33. Wow! When I first started reading this… I thought I was on the wrong blog. Glad both you and your son are fine.
    I’ve been in more car accidents than I care to admit and luckily walked away with minor injuries. I know the feeling and again it’s great to hear you and your son are ok!
    Btw… great writing Nick… comics, programming, stories… you do it all :-)

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