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April 27, 2010
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The night was beautiful, not a cloud in the sky. Beautiful like the first snowfall after a hot summer. My mom, sitting in the passenger seat in front of me, was talking to my dad about something involving gas prices. That’s all I heard before I fell asleep. I was dreaming a nice dream about lying in a field with my dogs, and playing around, when I jolted awake to my dad telling me to buckle my seatbelt. I pulled the strap and buckle down until I heard the regular CLICK. I immediately felt like it was the perfect time to do so. In the rearview mirror, my dad saw a dark black car, obviously going at least 20 mph over the speed limit. Even with that clear warning, I couldn’t have ever been prepared for what happened next.

We passed by a gas station, my dad cursing that we should’ve stopped, and my sister and I sitting in the back, tired from the day at our family friends house. BOOM! The humongous Mercedes ML320 was hit, on the back right wheel, two feet away from where I was. A split second after the collision, the opposite tire blew out, and we swerved heavily out of control. From all that pressure built up, the front right tire collapsed, and we started to flip, my mom’s window shattered, it felt like a rollercoaster! I heard screaming and saw my dad flopping from side to side. When the car finally stopped flipping, we skidded on my side of the car at least 20 feet.

The deafening sound of crunching metal was still ringing in my ears, and I was in a daze.
When I finally overcame my catatonic state, I realized there was blood everywhere. I looked at my dad, he was alert. Good, I thought, no one’s dead. Then I went into survival mode, thinking the gas tank was about to explode. I crawled through the lopsided seats and into the trunk, kicking at the rear window trying to break it for a way out.

BANG! I heard someone pound on the left rear door, which happened to be facing the sky, and heard muffled shouts of a good Samaritan. I finally had the thought we would live through this.

With my dad’s blood covering the interior, I scrambled to open the door. I realized my sister was still dangling from her seatbelt, so I unbuckled it to let her drop. My dad was already trying to break open the door where the guy was pounding. With a loud cracking noise, followed by a deafening screech, the door swung open. I immediately jumped out and slid down the side of the SUV, running to the curb to get away, when I realized my family was still trapped.

The man that helped us get out was on top of the car, technically the left side of the car, and he yanked my sister out, then my mom. He looked once at my dad and handed him his shirt, so wrap around his injured head. Then the sirens came.

I ran to the police man and explained that everyone was alive, but he told me to get out of his way and let him help the victims.
“I AM a victim!” I shouted, perturbed by the officers stupidity.
When I was finally calmed down, the ambulances arrived. My sister and father went into one with two beds, and I went in the other with my mom, letting her have the stretcher.
We arrived at the hospital about five minutes later. I was screaming for my dad, but he wasn’t there. My sister was rolled in after a long wait in the Emergency Room. I asked her what they did with dad; she said they airlifted him from a Wal-Mart parking lot. I was speechless.
It wasn’t until hours later when we were in the waiting room that we finally found a ride somewhere. It was our friends, where we were only hours earlier. But before they arrived, a police officer was bringing in a very round Mexican man, with bloodshot eyes, and a deathly stare. I realized it was the man that hit out car.
“Let’s wait outside.” I suggested, wanting to be away from the man that almost killed my own family.
“Let’s not” my sister retorted, annoyed at my ignorance.
Whatever, I thought.
After that experience, I never wanted to be in another Mercedes SUV, scared of what might happen. My family is alright, my dad ended up ok, just scraped his head very badly. My mom just had a few cuts and bruises, and my sister had a bruise that looked like a seatbelt from her waist to her shoulder. I was the only one without anything wrong. But I still never feel safe driving long distances with my family. Even on a night like that, a beautiful night, without a cloud in the sky.

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