I Escaped…and So Did He

Mike's accident-9 yr old

35 years ago, I was hit by a car.  I was in route on foot to the neighborhood gas station to buy 2 Cokes from the machine outside the station.  My brother and I were watching soccer-great Pele’ play on TV, and during a commercial break, he gave me two quarters and two dimes, and I took off running.

The car was going at least 35 miles an hour when it hit me as I crossed the road.  He was supposed to yield, but he didn’t.  Witnesses tell me that I tried to jump on top of the hood of the car, but I didn’t make it.  The impact of the car hitting my lower back launched me in the air about 10 feet high.  When I hit the ground, I rolled some 50 feet and came to rest in the entrance of the gas station.

I remember seeing the silver stripe on top of the blue car’s hood right before it hit me, and then I remember rolling.  I was nine years old, and I remember wondering as I rolled if I was going to die or not.  I felt no pain.

The next thing I remember is trying to get up and realizing that I had lost both my shoes and my socks.  The shoes I understand, but the socks?! I have no idea how they came off.

People gathered around me and told me to lie down.  My brother heard the screeching of the tires and came running.  I remember his face as he knelt over me.  It’s a look I’ve never forgotten.

My dad ‘s restaurant was about 3 blocks away from our home, and within minutes, he was there kneeling over me.  I found out later that he didn’t have the car that day (my mom was using it to grocery shop), so he ran from the restaurant to the accident scene.  He weighed over 300 pounds at the time.

Mike's accident -9 yr old #2

I was fortunate that day.  My reflex to try to jump on top of the car probably saved me from being run over.  No bones were broken, but – as you can see from the picture – along with my shoes and socks, I did lose a lot of skin.  By the way, I DIDN’T lose the money.  I held onto the change throughout the entire ordeal!

It was only years later when I was in high school that it was revealed that my back had been damaged by the impact, and I struggle with back pain to this day…but I’m thankful nothing worse happened that day.

The following news story made me think of my accident.  The man involved in this accident escaped serious injury like I did, and he says that he remembers rolling down the street – like I do.  Our bodies are incredibly fragile at times and amazingly durable at other times.

I escaped serious injury when I shouldn’t have…and so did he.