The crash of a lifetime


Joel Rodriguez

An oncoming car hit Marie Rodriguez causing her vehicle to roll into a nearby ditch.

It was peaceful, quiet. Not a single thing seemed to be out of place, but I could feel a stirring in my stomach. A sort of anxiousness whispered, telling me something was horribly wrong, but I could not listen. Instead, all that filled my ears was the blaring intensity of a ringing phone.

The night my mom was in a car crash was filled with the most troubling hours of my entire life. Never before have I had to deal with the possibility of losing someone so close to me in such a short period of time. Of course, like any other person, I have encountered death before, but this time was different. Rather than it being a family member who I have never met or a pet I didn’t own, this was my mom.

Before the accident, the night was simple. I was in my room catching up on homework I needed to finish before the end of the week. My dad was in the living room watching a show. My sister sat in her room playing a game on her computer. Then it changed. They tried to get us to pick up the phone three times. My dad figured it was simply someone pulling a prank, as they had called two times previously and had not responded when he said hello, but the third time they managed to get a decent connection.

It was certainly unexpected to see my dad come tell me my mom had gotten hit by what appeared to be a drunk driver. She was driven to the hospital in an ambulance while I sat waiting, panicking because my dad had not called me to tell me how she was yet. What was most likely a few minutes felt like years as my mind raised every potential what-if. It was not until I received a message telling me my mom was fine that I finally began to relax.

What was most likely a few minutes felt like years as my mind raised with potential what-if’s.

— Maryssa Rodriguez, 10

However, just because my mom was safe did not mean her car was. In fact, upon looking at the vehicle, we realized it would be impossible and irresponsible to do anything but get rid of it. The entire car appeared to be ripped to shreds. Dents littered the exterior. I could only imagine what the inside looked like. Thus began the tiring search for a new, cheap car big enough to fit my whole family.

The vehicle was not the only thing damaged by the accident. In addition to the mangled piece of machinery, my mom lost quite a lot of confidence when driving. While her skills never wavered, the accident caused her to grow fearful of certain situations and vehicles. Still, despite all of her troubles, she pushed through it as well as working on the physical problems she gained from the crash.

Although my mom remained mostly unharmed, it is very difficult to come out of a car accident completely injury free. She goes to physical therapy and takes prescribed pain medicine to get through the days, but she does still have bad days. Sometimes, my mom feels so awful she wants to stay in bed all day, but astoundingly, she works instead. Rather than ignoring all of the difficult tasks ahead of her with the excuse of “I hurt too much,” she simply takes what she’s given and strives towards completing it to the best of her ability.

It is very difficult to come out of a car accident completely injury free.

— Maryssa Rodriguez, 10

In our world, it is nearly impossible to live without a form of transportation, and cars are very common. However, this experience has shown me how important the rules of the road have always been and always will be. Wondering whether or not I would see my mom again was life changing, but I do not recommend it. Being aware of the risks and safe ways to react to a situation are the only important things when it comes to driving, because they can save lives.