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Alive to Tell This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

There isn't a night I'll remember more vividly than December 26, when my girlfriend and I were struck head-on by a drunk driver – the night when the choice to wear our seatbelts saved our lives.

Emily and I were driving along a rural road, heading for a movie. I was behind a couple of cars, following them out of town. I was rounding a slight bend when brake lights began to flash and the cars in front of me swerved off the road. Before I knew what was happening, a pair of piercing headlights were in my lane, blinding me. I had no chance to react before the impact.

I blacked out, waking minutes later to someone asking if I was okay. Still dazed, I told him I felt banged up but didn't think I was seriously injured. I could hear Emily talking to someone too, and I realized with relief that she was all right. I asked about the driver of the other vehicle and the man said she was fine but that she smelled like alcohol.

I couldn't believe the other driver had been drinking. I felt incredibly frustrated. To think that someone's stupid decision to drink and drive could have ended Emily's life or mine infuriated me.

Emily was able to get out of the car on her own, but I couldn't. The driver's side was so smashed that the door wouldn't open and the dashboard pinned me against my seat. I sat in the cold, wearing only a thin shirt, for an hour before the firemen managed to pry me out with the jaws of life.

Later, a sheriff's deputy visited my parents who were by my side in the trauma center of the hospital. I overheard him say it was the woman's third drunk driving offense. Why she was even allowed on the road?

The soreness and frustration from that night carried into the next few days, especially when my father and I went to the junk yard to see my car. I could hardly believe my eyes. It was so contorted that it didn't look like a vehicle anymore. I couldn't help but wonder how we made it out alive. I felt queasy as the memories flooded back.

I was involved in a head-on collision with a drunk driver the day after Christmas and was lucky to suffer only a bruised wrist and a few stitches. I feel very grateful; I know that Emily or I could have died that night. It was a shocking reminder of how one bad decision can affect many lives.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 32 comments. Post your own!

FULLSTOP said...
Mar. 16, 2012 at 3:56 pm:
w. this user has probably stopped using teenink but i think he has gone through a lot and to be able to put that into words is amazing and brave. i am glad that both he and his girlfrind were okay and think that drunk driving is awful. i too, have had traumatic experiences with drink driving. :)
 
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ADifferentKindOfPrincess said...
Nov. 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm:
I'm so sorry this happened to you but I am so glad you and your girlfriend are okay. Maybe you can make a difference in someone's life through your experience!
 
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Radiah said...
Apr. 8, 2011 at 2:50 am:
Great one!! very good picture description.
 
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Medina D. said...
Feb. 23, 2011 at 7:53 pm:

its nice hearing about drunk driving from a different point of view (as in the person who got hit by a drunk driver)

Maybe the woman was an acoholic, or reckless but either way I'm so glad you and Emily survived :)

 
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squalur996 said...
Nov. 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm:
all your thoughts about how you felt afterwards made it all the more real.  I mean that lady really should not be let on the road!!!
 
SkyDeerThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Nov. 27, 2010 at 3:58 pm :
No kidding that lady doesn't need to be on the road!
 
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sunnyandsugarThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 5, 2010 at 3:36 pm:
omg i'm so happy u and your gf are still alive. Great wrting and if u have time, plz look at some of my works
 
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xxEllaxStarxx said...
Oct. 14, 2010 at 12:06 pm:

Oh my God. 

People these days amaze me with their stupidity. 

Great, great work! 

 

 
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C_B_Mia said...
Aug. 9, 2010 at 10:25 pm:
Wow! Great essay.. It is so scary how your life can be taken away by the selfish act of a drunk person. You can be the most cautious, corteous person on Earth... and still get into problems.
 
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Coop123 said...
Aug. 5, 2010 at 11:29 pm:
I'm so glad your alive. A kid who just gradu8d from highschool just got bullbozed by a trash truck in my neighboor hood. hes dead
 
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Brandon3607 said...
Jun. 4, 2010 at 1:40 pm:
Wow that is ABSOLUTLY amazing
 
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AlexMariexx said...
Mar. 5, 2010 at 2:32 pm:
I'm so glad that you and your girlfriend survived that accident.. I really do not like drunk drivers. I hear stories from the immature kids at my school all the time and I always wonder.. Whats the point? There really isn't a point to it. We really need people like you to inform others the risks of drunk driving and the possibilities of what could have been. So thank you for this.
 
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Jake G. said...
Nov. 18, 2009 at 10:27 pm:
Drunk driving is dangerous and unsafe, but how can you prevent it? No matter what you do, how many laws you make, or who you forbid to drive they will end up on the road some way, some how. I'm glad you and your girfriend are alive and could share this story to show how stupid of an act it really is.
 
Jhinz14 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 19, 2009 at 8:24 am :
EXACTLY! It seems like nothing is a good enough deterrent to stop all people from drinking and driving. This was why I wanted to write this article. I wanted to get my message across to everyone my age and I'm glad they chose it to be in the magazine. I've gotten another article published in AAA Magazine talking about drunk driving and how terrible it is, but that's targeted more towards adults. I just wanted my message to get across to everyone. It may not do much, but at le... (more »)
 
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dragonfan said...
Nov. 18, 2009 at 4:49 pm:
i agree with every one it looks like alot of ur friends and you girlfriend are glad you both made it out ok. Every one should know drinking and driving normaly ends in a death . Evan tho i dont know you im glad the both of you are safe! =]
 
Jhinz14 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 19, 2009 at 8:38 am :
It's interesting that you say that, because the woman who hit me back in December just recently died of lung cancer. so yes, it normally ends in death, whether it be instantaneous or eventual. Life works in funny ways.
 
dragonfan replied...
Nov. 19, 2009 at 3:02 pm :
well thats sad but,well at least it was her and not u or ur gf
 
Jhinz14 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 19, 2009 at 10:00 pm :
It is pretty sad. It probably explains why she was drinking and driving in the first place though . . .
 
dragonfan replied...
Nov. 20, 2009 at 5:47 am :
ya but drinking isn't really the best way to "solve" problems. I wish people would learn that
 
Jhinz14 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 21, 2009 at 6:42 pm :
It's exactly why I'm trying to be an example. Granted, I'm only one person in a huge world and I don't know how much impact it'll have . . .
 
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