Great Personal Tragedy.Recently my husband William (Biff) and I have suffered a great personal tragedy with the loss of our only child Preston at the hands of an intoxicated driver. Biff and I are also trying to overcome our many serious injuries as well. In the free time we have between the extensive physical therapy, intense physical pain, emotional distress & overwhelming heartbreak I have been looking into Wyoming’s drinking laws.
We put all the things we had bought into our car, put on our seat belts and headed north on HWY 20-26, around 5 p.m. It was a nice, calm, sunny evening. I was driving about 65 mph when I was alarmed that the pickup truck in front of us violently swerved into the oncoming lane.
In place of the truck we had been following was a car directly in front of ours accelerating into us! We swerved but realized we were not going to be able to avoid the crash. This man was affixed to our vehicle like a magnet. We reached the roads shoulder then the cars met.
We crashed head on! The impact was more than tremendous. My body felt, molested by my own vehicle. There was no way out! I did not have any room to move an inch and I definitely felt violated. My upper extremities were crushed into the area that was once the dashboard. The floor area didn’t exist anymore and the floorboard was now smashed up against the front of my legs causing extreme pressure leaving my legs mangled with open fractures from my toes to my thighs. Metal perforated my body, deep wounds were visible. One piece of metal was like shrapnel, causing a portion of my thigh to be exposed. Blood was oozing from the large gash, along with meat hanging out from my right thigh. The seat belt was so taut it was strangling. I looked at Biff;he was in pain his face was blood soaked. I could not turn my head to check on Preston, but felt relief when I heard him ask, “Daddy what happened?” Biff replied, “we were in an accident”.
My mind was in turmoil knowing that I may loose my legs at this point, wondering if my husband was going to live. I prayed to God, Preston was not feeling the horrible pain that I was.
Shortly, people surrounded the cars trying to help us. Looking into the faces of those people I could see, they were traumatized at our appearance and injuries. It seemed like forever, before the ambulance was at the scene. My husband was first to be free from the wreckage and was whisked off to Riverton Hospital. Then I recall hearing a lady stating, “Look! There is a little boy in the back seat!” There was silence as they removed Preston, I could not turn to see, my precious Preston. But felt assured that he was okay by the denial and the shock of this terror. That God would not allow our son to be taken by the hands of a drunk driver.
Rescue people appeared on the site and stated to me that Preston & Biff were doing fine. I am sure they told me this to sustain my condition and keeping me from further shock.
Approximately 45 minutes later, the fire persons finally removed the roof of my Honda to squeeze me out of the wreckage. The pain was unbearable, I truly wished I was dead.
After our crash and stuck in our Honda for 45 minutes I became unstable. The EMT could not give me any pain medicine because of my condition. Riverton Memorial Hospital kept me alive by removing my spleen. However, during this procedure I was not fully anesthetized, the jarring and pressure of the operation caused extreme suffering and the nightmare continued. I tried to let the Surgical Team know of my pain, by waving my hands since my mouth was intubated. The team thought I was having muscle spasms. They disregarded my actions for help. At this time, I also learned of Preston’s death. The staff was talking about the crash and said, “Poor lady also lost her son!”
Then I prayed and asked God to help with this passage of news. The shock of Preston’s death and the torture of my mind, body and soul were too much for me to handle. Within seconds I realized I was completely out of pain and floating. The color was spectacular violet blue mixture making an off color purple. I felt at peace while I sustained my thinking and knowing that I have passed and paying attention to what is going to happen next. In seconds I saw light figures. My mind identified God and Preston. God told me “Preston is not safe here on this earth, his little body could not make it”. I explained to God that I will take care of Preston and it did not matter about his body I will take care of him no matter what his condition! God then replied with “is this really what you want for your son?” He then showed me how Preston would suffer in his massive traumatized body. Preston told me he was in the safest place and not to worry. I handed Preston to God. God patted me and said, “you have work to do”. The next moment I remember I was freezing and in my body in the helicopter to Casper Medical Care. I lost conscious at that point and went into a coma.
Then I passed out due to the shock of Preston’s death and the torture of my body and spirit. Chest tubes were placed in both sides of my lungs to keep me alive. The violent contact of my body against the seat belt resulted in a collapsed lung. After Riverton Medical Center stabilized my serious condition, they were required to life flight me to Wyoming Medical Center for further care.
Eighteen days after intensive care and being comatose, I finally came to with severe symptoms of a closed head injury. Biff, was relieved to see me awake, although terrified that permanent brain damage had occurred. It took several weeks of therapy to be close to normal, with a lot of family and friend support. Reality hit! I learned of the extent of our injuries: my legs has seven severe open fractures, along with, broken toes, ankles, fibulas, tibias, ribs, clavicle, eye socket, ruptured spleen, lacerated liver, collapsed lungs, tracheotomy, head injury, craniotomy, bruised pancreas & lungs, skin grafts, reconstructive surgery, almost died because of a massive infection and the lost of 11 pints of blood. While Biff suffered from a broken femur, tibia, and he came close to death because of a punctured colon, massive head injuries and other internal wounds.