When I took Driver’s ED, it was at a time when the only requirements were that you had to be 14.5 years old and pay the $200 or whatever it was to get in. After the 8 or 10 week course, provided you were 15 by then, you could get your license. Just like that. No probation period or “drive with your parents until you’re 27” sort of rules. Just a driver’s license.
I got my license… *counts* …19 days after I turned 15. My dad had this old pickup of his, one that he bought with his own money when he was about 17 or so. It was a 1976 Ford F-100, and it was his very first vehicle. He decided that since I had my license, I should learn to drive it (it was a stickshift) and it would be my pickup. He took me out for [an absolute maximum of] fifteen minutes to teach me, and determined that I was ready to go out on my own. I never trusted myself driving that pickup, and I inevitably did something stupid that would make it lurch and jump and go wonky all over the place EVERY TIME I DROVE IT. It was a pain in the ass. But, it was a vehicle, and I was allowed to use it, so that was great.
After a few months of driving that wretched thing, in April, Star and I decided we wanted to have a movie night. We begged and begged my mom to let me drive into town, but she said I couldn’t because she and my dad and brothers were going away for the night and wanted to be sure that we were safe at home. I threw a fit and yelled and begged and annoyed the hell out of my mom until she finally gave in. She was really pissed off said something ominous like, “Don’t come crying to me if something goes wrong.”
We ran some errands downtown and hung out with Daniel a bit (this was before we were going out) and rented movies and got some food at Wal*Mart. On our way home, we took a road that I don’t normally take on my way home. It’s just an alternate way of getting to the same place, but it was a wind-y dirt road that I wasn’t used to driving.
Along the way, I was driving faster than I ever should have been, but everything was great. The sun was shining, we were listening to Rammstein and we had the windows down with the wind in our hair. Then I went around a corner. The truck fishtailed a little, and Star and I gave each other nervous looks, but we laughed it off. The next turn, we weren’t so lucky.
The truck fishtailed more, so I tried to correct it and totally overshot. I remember seeing fenceposts and thinking, “If we hit those, we’ll be skewered!” so I turned the other way. About that time, everything started happening in slow motion. I instinctively knew we were starting to roll (don’t ask me how – I didn’t feel or see anything that would have told me that we were starting to flip) so I closed my eyes and ducked. The only thing I remember seeing for the entire duration of the wreck was sparkly whiteness. I assume it was when the windshield shattered, and I opened my eyes for a split second.
Fortunately, we ended up right side up, but we were facing the opposite direction from where we came, and the truck had done a full barrel roll in the process. This is the aftermath:
Star ended up having to get thirty-something stitches in her shoulder, and eleven or so in her elbow. She had a horrible case of road rash from her window being open and her arm hitting the gravel. She also broke a rib and had awful seat belt bruises that occurred before hers broke. Me? I got a cut on my head that cut a piece of my hair, and a one tiny cut on my hand that I had to fight with to get it to scar. My elbows were both bruised so badly I couldn’t rest them on my desk for a good two or two and a half weeks afterwards – the doctors said I didn’t damage them though. Bleeding and crying, we had to walk for over a quarter of a mile to find a house that had a phone so we could call for help.
My parents were 45 minutes away from home this entire time, and my aunt and uncle happened to be driving into town on the same road we wrecked on. The fire truck, police and ambulance had arrived by then. My aunt said that the truck looked suspiciously like my dad’s, so they slowed down. They saw one of the paramedics, whom they knew, and the paramedic told them “the girls are all right.” My aunt and uncle didn’t know what they were talking about since they figured my dad would have been driving, but they finally realized that it was probably me who was in the truck. They drove the 45 minutes to find my parents at this boy scout camp-out thing to tell them the news.
I can’t even imagine what they were thinking when my aunt told them.
I think my dad was genuinely freaked out (I would be too, I don’t blame him) and he looked like he was crying when he was standing by my hospital bed. I felt so awful. The first thing I thought when I got out of the wreckage afterward was, “OHMYGOD, my dad is going to KILL me.”
My mom was the one that wanted to kill me though, I think. She was crying when I first saw her and I’m sure she was relieved that I was alive and more or less unhurt, but I know she was mad at me because she didn’t want to let me take the truck in the first place. She told Star’s mom that she wanted me to have to sit and watch the doctors scrape gravel out of Star’s shoulder so “I could see the damage I’ve caused.” She’s weird like that.
Since it happened on a Friday in April, I didn’t get to miss school or anything. Star missed most of that next week because of her rib – it made walking, sitting, breathing and existing very very painful. I wore a sling to school for a day or two because of my elbow, but I stopped wearing it because it seemed more of a hassle than it was worth.
I became absolutely petrified of gravel roads after that, and I drive like a little granny when I’m forced to use them. Even now. I’m also a lot more afraid of pickups than I ever used to be.
:star::star::star: INTERMISSION :star::star::star:
The truck sat dormant in our shed and then our barn for many, many months. My brother, Carson, decided that it was going to be his truck and that he was going to restore it. I told him it was a stupid idea, but no. He goes and does it anyway:
Compare and contrast:
It looks like a completely different truck. I almost don’t believe it. Good riddance to him though, that thing gets like, 10 miles to the gallon.
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