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Drunk Driving Scars Never Heal

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Drunk Driving Scars Never Heal

Drunk Driving Scars Never Heal
December 28
21:49 2018

It was a sunny Friday afternoon when three teenaged boys, JJ, Mike and Roger, were looking forward to the weekend off. JJ was driving his Oldsmobile Toronado, heading south approaching an intersection. The traffic light just changed to green as JJ began to make a right turn when suddenly, a car slammed into them.

The impact was so great that it wrapped JJ’s car completely around a metal traffic signal pole, sheering the pole off at the base and moving it about 8 feet. The car was so wrapped around the pole that it remained standing.

A police officer was in a patrol car several cars behind JJ, so was on the scene immediately. He  called for an ambulance and more help. (This was before paramedics).

The officer was certain that JJ was dead, but Mike and Roger were seriously hurt. It took the fire department some time to get the two boys out of the car (It was also before they had tools like the jaws of life.) About an hour after arriving at the hospital, Mike was pronounced dead. Efforts were made to save Roger, but two days later, he succumbed to his injuries.

The driver of the car that hit them was a physician who had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit. He was speeding, sideswiped one car and then hit JJ’s car. He was so drunk, that his injuries were relatively minor. He was out of the hospital before Roger was buried.

The three teens were supposed to meet me, as I was now living in a neighboring city, but they never showed. I finally reached JJ’s mom on the phone (it was also before mobile phones) and she told me that JJ and Mike were dead and Roger was in serious condition.

I was closer to these three guys than I was with my own brothers at the time. The news hit me like a sledge hammer. I was standing in our kitchen as we had a wall phone and my legs buckled and I collapsed to floor. I couldn’t breathe nor could I think straight at the time.

It took me some time to gather myself together and when I did, I drove to JJ’s house and spent the night sobbing with his parents.

I later learned the JJ took the brunt of the collision, which crushed his chest causing his lungs to collapse, his liver was lacerated into multiple pieces, his heart ruptured and his brain was mush. Mike died of massive head and internal injuries. He was bleeding internally in so many places that he died as surgeons were trying to save him. Roger also had extensive head injuries along with a broken clavicle, shattered arm, leg and hip.

The drunk driver suffered a bump on his forehead, a compound break of an arm and minor cuts and bruises.

At time of the accident, JJ was only 19, Mike and Roger and I were 18. The three of them were killing time until they were pick me up for the evening. I’m now 67 and the scars of that incident have never totally healed. JJ, Mike and Roger’s parents all moved away and I lost contact with them, but the last memories I have of them are those of grieving parents who were devastated and had their lives turned upside down. I recall JJ’s dad saying that his lineage was dead referring to JJ being their only child.

At New Year’s Eve, I plead with everyone who is planning on drinking, NOT to drive. Have a designated driver, take a taxi, bus or Uber, but just don’t get behind the wheel. If you are partying at someone’s home, sleep your drunken stupor off there before driving home. Don’t be the cause of more scars for others!

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