19 March, 2020

Rolled but not Defeated!

At rest after a flip and a half
On Tuesday 17 March, Lana was driving back from Albury with Sebastian and we were expecting their return around 6 or so. Then I received a phone call from Sebastian at 4pm telling me they had been in an accident and Lana was bleeding but there were emergency people in attendance.
I immediately left and met them at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital around 7pm.
What had happened was Lana had a micro sleep and started swerving. Overreacting when trying to correct the drift, the van lost control and spun around 180 degrees now facing South. However, the momentum of the van moving a 110kph (70 mph) meant the van went sliding sideways through the median strip until it came to the upwards slope on the inner side of the South bound lanes. The van then flipped in the air, slamming down on the drivers side. Lana hit her head against the collapsing driver door, smashing her glasses and getting an impact cut on her head. The van then flipped another 180 degrees to land on the passenger side and slid across the road to end up on the far side of the South bound road.
Once the van had stopped Lana was hanging in the air kept secure by her seatbelt. She looked down at Sebastian and saw blood was dripping on him from her head. She put a hand up to stop the bleeding but the blood didn't stop. Sebastian passed up some serviettes which didn't do much to stop the blood. Head wounds are notorious for profuse bleeding.
On the busy Hume Highway no other cars or trucks were involved.
My first view of Lana
However within moments a truck driver, nurse, doctor and fire brigade fellow who all happened to be passing by, stopped and gave assistance.
The truckie was first and helped pull out the smashed front windscreen, letting Sebastian escape.
Once he was out, Lana undid her seat belt and fell to the passenger seat and crawled out the broken front window.
By now the nurse was on hand and quickly lay Lana down and examined her. The nurse kept telling Lana not to go to sleep and asked her all the standard concussion questions. The doctor checked Lana's progress and the Truckie and Fire Brigade guy checked the car for any potential fire damage.
Police and Ambulance arrived shortly thereafter. Lana heard one of the Ambulance fellows comment hat Sebastian was really cool reporting what had happened on the phone to me. He did very well remaining calm in an emergency.
The paramedics offered for Sebastian to go in a separate ambulance, but he diplomatically requested to go in the same ambulance as Lana. Sebastian looked pretty horrid covered in blood that wasn't his. His main injury was a cut in his finger which ended up requiring 3 stitches and a number of minor bruises and cuts.
The van at the wreckers
I arrived at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital and tracked down Lana. My first view was seeing her lying on the emergency bed with head bandaged, blood everywhere and a neck brace that stopped her moving her head. But she smiled when she saw me which was a great sign.
After much poking and prodding and tests the doctors discovered no bones broken, no sprains or spinal injuries. She had a small cut near her eye and eye brow caused by her glasses disintegrating when the van smashed into the ground the first time.
The cut on her head was pretty ugly, but after a lot of cleaning away of dried blood and a good shower, they checked and there were no foreign bodies in the cut and were able to glue all the edges back together.
Crushed but still roughly in shape
Lana has lots of bruises and a sore head, but is otherwise OK.
So what have we learned?
The remains of Lana's glasses

  • When you feel tired, pull over!
  • Modern vehicles are really quite safe. Even though the Ford Transit Van is 13 years old, it was still designed well enough to retain basic body shape despite a roll or two.
  • Seat Belts save lives!
  • The generosity of strangers is once again refreshing to see. All the immediate passers-by stopped and rendered assistance.
  • First responders are once again excellent. Ambulance and Police were on the scene very quickly.
  • Wagga Wagga Base Hospital is amazing. Everyone we dealt with was friendly and supportive. They let me wander from bed to bed as I first saw Lana and then went to make sure Sebastian was doing OK and then back again. Many times!
  • It is really good having supportive family. Once the "Go" button was pressed we all went into action. I drove down, Peter covered for me wth clients, the others moved around shifts and organised dinner and all the normal things Lana or I would have done. Then when James had to come down the second day to help collect all the stuff that was in the van, we moved all the work shifts at the shop. 
So now, we have to plan for a new family van with 12 seats in a few months or so once the insurance money comes in and we save the difference. All in all, a rather good ending to what could have been much much worse.
2020 - so far so good.


Unknown said...

I'm so sorry I hope everything is okay

Unknown said...

aww I'm sorry

Da_Big_Noose said...

I love that the truckie was the first person to the rescue, thats so aussie. Good to hear that everyone came out of it without any injuries too serious ��