The Last Ride

March 16, 2012
By Anonymous

It was a hot summer day, the sun was shining bright, the birds were chirping loudly, and it was a perfect day to go off-roading in the mountains. We drove way up past Empire, Colorado, and parked the truck at the bottom of the path. We unloaded the ATVs and geared up. We all put on our helmets and sunglasses and set off. Our destination was the top of Jones Pass. The scenery was beautiful, dark green trees and beautiful flowers blossoming in the meadows around, and of course, not to forget how perfect the weather was. We had some pit stops for a little maintenance but besides that, we gained a lot of height very quickly. My mom and sister decided to trade vehicles with my mom’s friend. The ATV that they traded for had a manual transmission which my mom was unfamiliar on how to use. After a brief explanation on how and when to shift, we all started out again. We made it to the last stretch, the steep path to the top. I was a little weary and very nervous to take this path. I wasn’t worried for myself, but for my mom and little sister. My mom’s friend and I went first up the mountain and then stayed in place, waiting for my mom and sister. They caught up and then we were off. About five minutes later, we stopped to take a little rest when we only had about 3 coils of path left to reach the top. I looked back and my mom was struggling to get the ATV parked. The ATV stalled and then began to roll backwards. My mom hit the brakes, but then the back tire caught a large patch of gravel, not allowing the tires to catch any grip. I was still on my ATV, watching, everything was happening so fast that I was just frozen and could not move. I saw my mom and sister tumble down about 30 feet of rocky hill, with the 500 pound ATV crashing down on them...
“MOM!!!!!!!” I cried out several times. I jumped off the ATV screaming and crying for my mom, I slid down the hill and watched them continue to tumble down. Everything happened so fast yet everything was in slow motion. The thump, thump of my heart drowned out the sound of my cries, and my eye sight blurred and saw everything around me slow down. When they finally stopped I had reached them and my sister’s body was limp and my mom was struggling to get up. I picked up my sister in a cradle position and blood was profusely spewing out of a large gash in her head. My mom finally got to her feet and came over to my sister. I carried my sister up the hill to the jeep that was with us and had followed close behind us. My sister was calm and quiet, until she knew she was bleeding and the adrenaline wore off. A neighboring party had come up behind us to see what was happening. When they saw the injured child, they rushed to their ATVs and got a bottle of water to clean the gash. None of our phones worked so we could not call out to 9-1-1 for air support. My mom and I jumped in the jeep and the driver quickly drove us down the mountain. We made it to the road and that’s when the shock kicked in. I started to shake and uncontrollably cry. I couldn’t stop, for as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t. I kept seeing it happen over and over again.

We raced to the town of Empire to a small cafe. We ran inside and told them to call 9-1-1. A man came out with a first-aid kit and tried to bandage up my sister. No more than 5 minutes later, the ambulance and a fire truck came to the cafe. We were loaded into the ambulance and off to the hospital.

The drive to the hospital seemed to last forever. Everything still seemed to be happening in slow motion. As I sat in the passenger side of the ambulance, the cars that we passed seemed be be just crawling like snails on the highway. When we finally reached the hospital, I went to the room with my mom and my sister. The nurse then told me to go to the lobby and check-in. The check-in process was very weird. I had to walk through a metal detector a few times. The loud beep when it detected metal on me shattered my ear drums; mentally, I was still not okay. After checking in, I went to the lobby to wait. I had fallen asleep sitting there. I do not know how long I slept but it felt like an eternity. I was woken up by a receptionist at the check-in desk, telling me that the nurse said I could go to the room now. I had gathered my things and went to the room. The little nap that I had taken had calmed me down a great deal, but the light was killing my eyes. When I reached the room, my mom was sitting down and my sister was on the bed getting her oxygen checked. We waited forever on the doctor. In an effort to calm my sister down, I pulled out my iPod, got on Netflix, and let my sister choose what she wanted to watch. She decided on Spongebob, so Spongebob it was.
The doctor finally came into the room and checked on my mom and sister. The gash on my sisters head needed immediate cleaning, so the doctor went ahead and did that. With only being five years old, my sister was immensely frightened. She began to cry and scream as the doctor cleaned the gash. The screams she let out sounded as though they could break glass - they sure broke my ear drums.

After the cleaning, my sister was still sobbing. The doctor took a better look at the gash now that it was cleaned and stated that it needed staples. I can’t even stress how painful, emotionally and for my ear drums, that was to watch. My mom’s wounds were next. All my mom had was severe road rash, which isn’t much. The doctor cleaned the abrasions and then let us sit in the room for what seemed like hours and hours. Come to think of it, it probably was. The doctor released us from the hospital, and we went to a McDonald’s nearby. My mom’s friend then drove us to his house where we ate our food and told everybody what had happened.

To this day, I still picture this event happening. It still kills me to see this. I don’t intentionally image this, it just happens. I can still hear the screams I let out and I can feel the gravel grinding against my leg when I was sliding down the hill. I refuse to ride another ATV in the mountains again. Nor will my mom or sister. At my mom’s friends house, the ATV that my mom and sister crashed sits in the garage, covered up with an oil-stained green tarp, by looking at it, you can tell what it is. My mom hasn’t looked at it since, and my sister won’t even go near it. I mean, I can’t blame them. It almost took their lives.

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