Thursday, March 09, 2006

Bitchin' Camaro, Bitchin' Camaro! I'm drunk on unleaded!

from the much greater insight file

20 years ago today, I was in a horrific auto accident...



What a beautiful car. It's a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, with a 350 motor, automatic transmission. This car was fast. My punk rock boyfriend received it on his 17th birthday. In retrospect, it wasn't the best decision to give a 17 year old alcoholic this type of car.



This is the remains of the car after a head on impact with another vehicle at 140 MPH. My punk rock boyfriend was the driver, I was the passenger. We were both wearing lap belts, no shoulder straps. He broke his ankle. Me, I didn't fair so well. I took a direct hit into the door pillar (the metal part, between the windshield and the passenger door). I shattered my nose, broke my jaw in two places, lost my two front teeth, bit a chunk out of my lower lip, and broke my back at the 4th lumbar.

The driver of the car we hit, she died on impact. She was estimated at traveling about 55 MPH (us: 140 MPH, you do the math). Her injuries, which were extensive, were sustained after the engine in our car became airborne due to faulty engine mounts (General Motors design flaw). On impact the motor ejected from out car(sparing us, killing her), into hers, deflected and landed 700 feet from impact. It is believed that our car then flew over her car and landed 400 feet from impact. The doctors suspect this was how I broke my back (spinal cord was okay...yes, I can walk).



This photo of me was taken 6 weeks after the accident. I just had the wires in my jaw removed, as well as two large pieces of glass from my sinus area. Believe it or not, I was happy in this photo. It was my first meal of solid food since before the accident. I cried through the entire meal. My jaw was still stiff and painful, but that food was good.

You are probably wondering why we were doing 140 in the first place. The punk rock boyfriend and I attended an all night drinking party. We left at 6a.m. to return to his house. On the way, we pulled along side a 1986 Buick Grand National (another fast car) at a stop light. Drag race insued. We were in our correct lane, he was in the oncoming lane...we were winning. We hit a patch of ice on the road and began fish tailing. As this was happening, the car we hit was coming towards us. She saw the car we were racing in her lane. In hopes of saving herself, she began to cross the center line to get off the road and avoid the two cars coming at her. She had no idea how fast we were going. Our car hit her head on, on the center line of the road. The car we were racing veered behind us, catching our transmission, drive train, and gas tank under his car.

The end result, she lost her life, I lost my face, and the punk rock boyfriend was the 3rd person in Michigan to be charged with second degree murder (definition: non-premeditated killing, resulting from an assault in which death of the victim was a distinct possibility) for a drunk driving accident. The driver of the car we were racing got off completely. He was an off duty police officer, on his way home after his shift.

Punk rock boyfriend eventually plead guilty to manslaughter, receiving 5 years probation, no jail time. I had 15 surgeries to correct the damage to my face over the next 8 years. Overall, the doctors did well by me, I think. Punk rock boyfriend and I broke up 3 tumoltuous years later, and didn't speak again until his father died last year. The woman who died left behind a husband and a young son. He's about 27 now. Her husband, well, he was having an affair with another woman before his wifes death. He married the mistress 4 months after his wife died. The driver of the race car...have no clue about him.

Hope this story wasn't too much for you all. It is time for me to purge what clutters my head...that's all.

title credit: "Bitchin' Camaro" by the Dead Milkmen

(BTW- sickly intestinal distress I was suffering from the past few days seems to be on its way out, so to speak.)

19 comments:

Ranting Dullard said...

Camie, I dont know what to say really. I found your story moving. Its amazing how these things happen completly out of the blue, have such massive implications for the rest of our lives, and still we can take life for granted. I spent 3 months of life imobilised in traction followed by a further 12months in a wheelchair. But, this is going to sound weird, Im glad it happened to me. I discovered books, punk rock music and I suppose it laid the seeds for my later career because I knew all about depression first hand.
Thank you for sharing this Camie.

FOUR DINNERS said...

Ouch. You were'nt driving. Not down to you. Don't you dare feel guilty. Blogs r good places to get this shit out.

By the end I'd a tear in the eye. Just dust. Definitely just dust....

x

d34dpuppy said...

(((camie)))

StripeySocks said...

damn it camie, you and deadpuppy sure know how to shit on my fabulous day.
oh well. i can't stay slightly annoyed at you. *hugs* that story was all sad and whatnot. and it made me sad. that was a freaking awesome car, though.

FOUR DINNERS said...

Read it again to be sure...definitely dust...

Take it easy babe..

d34dpuppy said...

i m sorry CheezyHighness!!:::::dp runs 4 tha pooper scooper:::::

Ron said...

Cammie, I sit here in the dark amazed at you in more ways than I can count. I feel obliged to keep coming up with new ways to tell you how cool you are...this is why we write, is it not?

Dirk the Feeble said...

It hurts me deeply that such a beautiful car got trashed like that. Like in the remake of "Gone in 60 Seconds" where they crush the Mustang at the end - one of the few times it's okay for a man to cry.

To answer your question on my blog, link away - if you blogroll me, I'll blogroll you too. I'm awesome like that.

Laura said...

It would be nice to think you could have had an influence on the boyfriend at the time, to somehow have prevented this. I doubt anything you could have said or done would have stopped boyfriend from being an ass. Drinking, ice, public roads aren't a good mix for anyone.

I'm glad you survived, though. What a tough break!

FOUR DINNERS said...

Nice smile....lopsided smile...but nice smile...

I drive too quick. Not gone over 30 m.p.h. for 2 days. Jax likes goin' fast. Jax was not happy with your influence....

Showed Jax this blog... Got to 35 m.p.h. Jax said "Slow down!!"

Got overtaken by a tractor. This is gettin' embarrassin'...

bob said...

What an absolutely crappy thing to happen to such a bitchin' camero! There ain't no justice.

I lost a high-school friends when he impacted the side of a building and the building won. Thankfully, no cameros were hurt.

(word verification: rluthxor - lex luthor?)

FOUR DINNERS said...

The Old Pretenders Football (Soccer) Club want to know if you'll found the Old Pretenders Michigan Fan Club?...

Yeah...they're all as daft as me

Camie Vog said...

Oh! Most definately. Daft? Who's daft? I see no daft here. As I will be the first Michigan Fan, I will receive the position of honorary President of the Michigan Chapter. This position is a life long position. Oh, I'll need a shirt, too. : )

FOUR DINNERS said...

An official OP shirt will be air mailed out forthwith - on the understanding that a photo will appear on site.

Our Chief Executive sends his bemused regards.....

I need somewhere to send it. (Not your address as I may be a loony). Send the delivery details and it'll be on its way Life President of The Old Pretenders Michigan Chapter.....

you don't mind we lose a lot do you?

d34dpuppy said...

i think u should use this piccy of u on ur blog :o)

Camie Vog said...

Your on 4D.
Is it really nesessary to provide a different address? I don't think you is crazy stalker man, and Carol wouldn't let you do something as nutty as stalking to a different country, at least without her. You keep fairly regular posts on your blog, so if you were absent for too long I'd know to keep an eye out for you...and not to open my door for anyone except Johova Witness'... Besides, it's been a while since I've gotten to open my can o' whoop-ass.
Oh, will the O.P's be arranging a Michigan Meet and Greet? Perhaps you all could come over and I can arrange a little game between you guys and the Brazillian studs down the street from me.

FOUR DINNERS said...

Carol would hit me on the head with a frying pan if I was a stalker - she did once when she found me wrestling a pack of bacon on the kitchen floor after a serious night out.....bloody thing wouldn't open 'n I was really hungry.

JC (The Chief Executive) is bringing an OP shirt to next Sundays game for me to mail out to you. E-mail me where to send it and it'll be on its way (follow pups instructions and put a piccie up!)....anyway I've blogged you're Life President of The Michigan Chapter so you've got to now.

Brazilian studs??? Haven't you got anybody who plays with zimmer frames?

Our tours've never got beyond Belgium - $£ & logistics. Michigan's a dream but I'll keep checkin' out my lottery ticket!

Who knows. Sometimes dreams happen. Have to be soon though before JC really is a zimmer man! (oops...20p fine for that)

Melanie said...

Although you went through a lot, you are actually very lucky. My brother was racing down the Idaho backroads high on meth at 5:00 AM. He missed a turn and took a 4x4 fencepost to the head. The meth kept his heart beating, but the fencepost did extensive damage to his brain. He woke out of the coma 6 weeks later, and by that time, they had to cut away most of his frontal left lobe in order to keep the swelling down. He was 18 when this happened.

We just celebrated his 26th birthday. He lives at home with my stepfather, and will never be able to live by himself. The doctors figure he floats anywhere between 7 to 13 years of age, mentally. Physically, he's fine, but his short-term memory is completely shot. Once Dad is gone, I will have custody of my brother.

Like I said, your accident was bad, but at least you got out with your mind in tact, because there's nothing sadder than watching your adult brother enjoying the same Blue's Clues episode as your toddler and realizing that he's not just laughing to make her smile.

Camie Vog said...

I'm sorry to hear about your brother. I can only imagine what it is like for you in terms of your brothers future care. I make no excuses for my behavior when I was younger. A lot of it has to do with the over stepping of boundries, and lack of maturity. Looking at my 4 year old reminds me how lucky I am to have made it out of that situation (and many others) alive and well.