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. Chilling

    This entry from Nick Bradbury is frightening, sad and enough to make anyone angry. The beginning of the story: Last night my 7-year-old son Isaac and I were driving home from his karate class, cracking silly jokes and making up…

  2. Wow, glad everyone is ok. I can’t imagine how scary that was.
    To drive away after that, people amaze me. Sad so few (only 1?) person bothered to help, that’s terrible.

  3. Wow.
    You have one brave son. And it seems he’s got quite a dad.
    I hope they find the jerks that ran off.

  4. Nick,
    You’re a trooper to be strong for Isaac – keep us in the loop – I helped one time as a good Samaritan on a accident and after the courts and police, it was the worst humilating experience ever. Still, I’m appalled that no one stopped to help. Blessings to your family.

  5. Nick,
    Thank God you and your son are okay. This probably will sound ridiculous to you, but take a moment to enjoy this day and let your friends love on you and your son. We’re all just a breath away from “the other side,” and all we really have is this moment. Use one of yours today to take a deep breath and enjoy it.
    (and buy your son another video game. He earned it with his bravery.)
    The other driver was probably drunk, which ought to give all of us pause.
    You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Glad to hear everyone’s ok. My son and I do the Star Wars thing too – but he’s a little older:
    Puke Skywalker
    Darth Vomit
    Heave Solo
    Toss Eisley

  7. Having been in an accident myself on more than one occassion, it has been my experience that it will take time to process all that happened. From anger to fear to soreness to whatever else, know that you and your son can grow from this experience in surprising ways and become even stronger people for one another and for those around you.
    Feel better, and thank you for sharing your story with us.

  8. Glad you guys are ok. I was the victim of a similar hit and run and even 3 years later I’m still angry about it.
    The guy who hit me got 2 years probation and that’s it! I hope they catch the guy who hit you and I hope you find a prosacuter willing to really stick it to him.

  9. I went through a similar experience with my daughter when she was five — she was run over by a van. That shot was the very worst part of the whole thing, and I completely felt your pain and worry as I read through your entry.
    I am so glad that you and your son will be fine and hope they catch the SOB who couldn’t be bothered to stop after slamming into you.
    Your son is a brave kid — he deserves lots of kudos for handling such a tough situation.
    We went through a bit of PTSD with our daughter after her accident, so keep an eye out for that with your son..they want to be brave but flash back to it sometimes.

  10. Glad to hear you & your son are A-ok. Here’s to a speedy recovery for both of you, both physically & mentally/emotionally!

  11. wow Nick. You scared me. So pleased to hear you are both ok. I’ve got a five year old – I don’t know how I’d react to this. Hope you get the chance to look the evil git in the eye.

  12. Glad to hear that everyone is doing well. Having been in similar predicaments when I was growing up I can completely understand what you and your son went through.
    I think you handled everything perfectly. Hopefully if I am faced in a similar situation with my son I will be able to act as calmly and rationally as it sounds like you did.
    Anyhow, once again, glad to hear that everything turned out for the better. Here’s to hoping that they catch the little bastard that ran in to you!

  13. Nick…sorry to hear about this and even sorrier it was with your son. Glad it came out on the up end.
    Four weeks ago I was going through a very wide intersection on 29 in Silver Spring, MD with a green light at 55 mph. A 20-year old on his cell phone and driving his grandfather’s Jag pulled right in front of me. He did not yield from the opposite side turning lane and never saw me. I cut the wheel hard and directed the impact sideways, fortunately for him and me. And God Bless the engineer who invented air bags!
    Both my Dodge Dakota and his Jag were totalled. Still, I was not with either of my 2 sons which would have made it far, far worse as you describe. Let us know if they catch this guy and if he does time.
    Best with your and your son’s recovery.

  14. I’m glad to hear that the two of you are OK. Hope you both get back to 100% soon. All the best.

  15. So surreal. I assume you are Nick Bradbury of Top CSS fame. I think everyone is different, and I am truly sorry that you felt the whiz of cars going by why you were helpless, especially with your child bleeding in front of you.
    I remember “having to pull over” once myself, and I can only be honest in saying I was glad the guy across the flipped over car was the one who got the door open (I was unable to get the one on my side open).
    As it all turned out the guy had to be cut out of the car, but it was nerve wracking. I saw him flip in front of me as he took a turnoff on I-280 near Woodside Road. He didn’t look good.
    But here’s the killer. I didn’t feel brave at all. I was scared shitless. Afraid his car would blow up, afraid I’d be the one who could open his door and have to be the one to figure out what to do with his mangled body.
    The story turned out just fine. He was cut out of his car (I had to stick around, cuz I was nearly in tears), and he walked away.
    Seriously, about 15 people were around the accident, and they all applauded.
    Nick, I do appreciate the darkness you felt. I can’t read the minds of the people who drove past you, but I assume they were driving fast.
    My experience was very different, and probably based on something as simple as slower traffic.
    Best of luck to you.

  16. Scary story Nick!
    I’ve had an accident myself once, where I got into a spin on top of a dike (I live in the Netherlands) and my car rolled off sideways. That was not good for the car, but the roof didn’t dent enough to hit my head. I still have to ride on that dike regularly, and always remember.

  17. Isaac certainly sounds like a really brave boy. You must be very proud of him, Nick. I hope you are both left with no scars, physical or mental, from the incident.
    As another commentator said, you do live an exciting life!

  18. Firstly, glad you’re both ok. Secondly, don’t underestimate the shock you’ve both faced. The sleep comes easily, I think, because your brains have a huge amount to process in the background before returning to ‘normal’.
    I had a vehicle accident recently and was amazed by how tired I was for the few days after the event. If it wasn’t for work I think I could have slept several days straight.
    Allow for extra sleep. Sleep, for me at least, was what I needed for my brain to settle down again.

  19. Glad to hear the good news that everyone is OK.
    And I hope they catch the guy who hit and ran and throw the book at him.

  20. Nick –
    Thankful that you and your son were unhurt. I’m sure you will soon be back in the crazy buzz of building out your business. And your son will only have a great story to tell his buddies at the lunch table.
    Until then, I wish a speedy recovery, physical and mental.

  21. How truly scary. I hope they do catch the miserable f*cker who sped off after crashing into you.
    I was very relieved to read that both you and your son were okay (I skipped to the end of the article too). I hope Isaac’s enjoying his time off school too :-)

  22. Nick, or should I say Jonah?
    Glad you and your son are OK. I’m not for one minute condoning the other drivers actions, but can you can kind of understand how it’s possible for someone to panic and head for the hills. What I can’t understand however, is the other drivers – some of whom must have witnessed the incident – just driving on by!
    P.S. Luke Warmwater and Daft Radar were always two of my favourites.

  23. Hi Nick,
    Glad both you and your son are OK
    Now – for all you lurkers – GO TAKE A FIRST AID class, and equip a first aid kit, and put it in your cars. Not “band aids” – a real kit. That way if your ever in the position TO help, you can. They will teach you how to restrain peoples neck, and stop major bleeding – plus do CPR
    Just go out and do it – OK?

  24. I’m really glad that you two are okay. When I saw the post with the pictures of the car (haven’t read my feeds for some days) I was really shocked at first and didn’t know what happened. All the best to you and your son!

  25. Nick:
    I was reconnecting today and saw the Scripting News link to this story. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. I really worried when I saw the link and remembered you and your son’s vacation escape from disaster on the water.
    Those Volvo’s are safe and it’s a good thing you were in one.
    I’m probably one voice among many, but if you need something, email or call.

  26. FeedDemon 2.1 Beta 2a with Live Writer support

    Despite being involved in a hit-and-run car crash this week, Nick Bradbury has still released a new beta version for FeedDemon. There are, as always, a huge number of improvements new features, but the one Im happiest about is that m…

  27. WOW, this is incredible. And as Rex and others have said here, after the kayaking incident and now this, this kid is a survivor! No one should ever have to deal with all this at his age, but with a stable/calm dad setting the tone and an example of a great attitude, he’ll probably come out of all this with a real sense of being able to survive just about anything. :)
    And after spending most of last year lying around recovering from a car accident myself, the best advice I can offer is to really pay attention to any pain, etc, even if it seems minor. Almost 1.5 years later, they’re still trying to figure out my resulting breathing problems… Not fun.
    Sounds like you’re both in relatively good condition, all things considered, so that’s great to hear. Best wishes for a fast recovery, both physically and emotionally!

  28. How awful! Praise God both you and your son made it out okay. I hope he gets to feeling better soon!

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