HOME | Contact Editor | Add Comment | Forum | Directory | Search | Advertise | Tell-a-Friend
October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


Join us in
South Carolina Headlines

Sign up today to take part in the forums, interact with the content, receive South Carolina Headlines newsletters, display current weather conditions in your area, and more.

Already a member?



The Common Voice
Where you help make the national headlines!
Visit our Advertisers!


Author (last 7 days)

My Almost-Not-Quite Interview With 'The Bear'


 :: Jonathan Pait
 :: Benj Buck

 :: Jimmy Moore
Press Releases

 :: List All

Want to be a columnist? Contact the editor to learn how.

Glad To Be Back In SC
Jimmy Moore
July 28, 2003

Forgive me in advance for any misspelled words or poor use of grammar in this article. Iím still taking 6 muscle relaxers and 6-8 hydrocodone pills a day for the pain I am experiencing from my face-to-face meeting with a dogwood tree last Wednesday.

I would like to thank Jonathan Pait, Ralph Bristol, Bobby Eberle (from GOPUSA), Jeff Quinton (from BackCountry Conservative) and everyone else who expressed their concern for me while I was recuperating from injuries I sustained in an automobile accident I had in Virginia Beach last week. It was heartening to know that I have so many friends who care about me. I was appreciative of the kind comments made by several CommonVoice readers to the article Jonathan posted about my accident. Again, thank you for your prayers and support.

I guess Iíll begin by backing up to let you know what happened leading up to the accident.

Last Sunday morning I received a telephone call from my mother-in-law that her father had died suddenly. My wife was very close to her grandfather and I had grown a deep respect for the man when I was living in Virginia Beach. His prostrate had enlarged on Saturday and he literally bled to death at the age of 81. This man lived a long and fulfilling life as a humble, hard-working and very intelligent man. Although he only attended school through the 8th grade, he was one of the smartest and wisest men I have ever met. And, he was a conservative Republican -- that makes him tops in my book! :-)

The funeral was set for Wednesday at 2pm in Virginia Beach. My wife and I left on Tuesday afternoon after I got off work early. The viewing of the body took place on Tuesday evening, but we arrived too late to be there for it. My in-laws were obviously upset and saddened about the loss of this beloved man, but they were holding up extremely well. Itís hard to know what to say during times like these. Thankfully, we all are Christians and were able to rejoice that grandpa was in heaven with Jesus now. There is real comfort in knowing that he is in a place where there is no more pain or sorrow.

The widow of the deceased, my wifeís grandmother, said that we could go to the funeral early on Wednesday to pay our last respects to the man we knew and loved in a private viewing of the body before the funeral. We all gathered at grandmaís house to drive over to the funeral home together about an hour and a half before the funeral. I wrote an acrostic poem to give to grandma and my wife had drawn a picture to place in the coffin with grandpaís body. However, once we were at grandmaís house, my wife remembered that she left the picture she drew at her parentís house where we were staying. Since it was only a couple of miles away, I decided to go and get the picture. That would prove to be a costly mistake.

I arrived at the house and got the picture of a Precious Moments drawing with a little girl placing flowers on a grave. It was beautiful and a typical drawing from my wife (we made a deal a long time ago -- sheíll stick to drawing and Iíll stick to writing! LOL!). I got back into my car and made my way back to grandmaís house since the funeral was going to take place in an hour. I traveled along a route I had taken hundreds of times before.

I was driving along a back road in a residential area where there were no stop signs along my path. However, there were numerous side streets and every single one of them had stop signs. After I traveled about two-thirds of the way down this street, I looked to my left and noticed a truck had failed to stop at a stop sign. My immediate reaction was to swerve right. Thankfully, I avoided crashing into the truck that ran the stop sign, which I later found out had a woman on the passenger side. Although I was only driving around 30 miles per hour, if I had hit the truck, I might have killed or seriously injured her. I do not regret my decision to try to avoid hitting the truck.

As I swerved right, I lost control of the steering wheel. I was making a beeline straight for a dogwood tree located in someoneís yard. I later found out that I hydroplaned on top of the grass and narrowly missed hitting another tree sooner by several inches. This was one of the most terrifying moments in my life. I couldnít change the course of my vehicle. I was helpless at this point and braced for the impact. Then...

BAM! Hoooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnkkkkkkk!!!

As soon as I hit the tree, the airbag deployed and it felt like someone hit me in the chest with a 100 pound sledgehammer! At the same time, I heard stories about how that white substance from the airbag burns skin, so I immediately jumped out of the car. The car horn was stuck in place and attracted attention from the entire neighborhood who began to gather at the accident scene. A few of them had witnessed the accident and decided to stay around until police arrived.

When I got out of the car, I noticed I couldnít breathe. I couldnít inhale any air at all at first. To be honest, I thought I was having a heart attack. I looked around and my vision was blurry (part of that had to do with the fact that the airbag had knocked my glasses off of my face all the way to the back of my car!). Everything seemed to be going in slow motion. I leaned against my car and began shallow breathing until I was able to breathe as normal as possible. Thatís when I noticed my chest was hurting and my right pinky was disfigured.

To his credit, the man driving the vehicle that I avoided hitting stopped to lend me a hand. He told me that he was from St. Louis and he was following a cousin to her house (that probably explains why he ran the stop sign...he didnít want to get too far behind her since he was not familiar with the area.) He let me use his cell phone to call my father-in-law after he called 911. I was so flustered that I dialed the wrong number at first. But I was able to call the correct number while my hands were still shaking. My father-in-law, who works for the Norfolk Sheriffís department, stayed with me until a Virginia Beach police officer arrived on the scene ten minutes later. My father-in-law took the picture my wife drew and went to the funeral. In my physical condition, I was not well enough to attend the funeral.

The police officer inquired with me about what happened and I explained that I swerved to avoid hitting a truck and ran into a tree. I was still pretty dazed as he was asking me questions. A few minutes later, I heard the EMT coming. Thereís no sweeter sound in the world when you are hurt than the siren of an ambulance. They arrived on the scene as I was speaking on the telephone with AAA about towing my vehicle (there was a sharp ďVĒ down the middle of my front bumper that extended through my radiator).

I was rushed to the emergency room because I was still having chest pains. In the ambulance, the EMTs gave me oxygen since I had some trouble breathing. It made me feel better, but the oxygen had a strange and distinct odor. I didnít care because it was helping me breathe. They checked my vital signs and my heart rate had risen to 120 beats per minute (my normal heart rate is about 60 beats per minute). My blood pressure was 140 over 90. This was the first time I had ever been in an ambulance and the guys were extremely professional and made me feel comfortable all the way to the hospital.

Once I arrived in the emergency room, I tried to use my sense of humor to overcome some of the pain I was experiencing. It helped me to relax as they were running the tests and x-rays. The nurses ran an EKG on my heart and found that no damage had been done. I was relieved. The results of the x-rays were also positive as they found that I had not broken any bones. In the end, I was diagnosed with severe contusions to my stomach, chest and right pinky. Virtually all of my injuries were caused by the seat belt and airbag.

I was discharged from the emergency room in less than 2 hours and was prescribed medicines that would help me to recuperate from the injuries. I stayed in bed for the rest of Wednesday and most of Thursday and Friday. I drove back to Spartanburg on Saturday in a rental car. I am still awaiting the fate of my car, which I am pretty sure was totaled. Since I did not have collision coverage on my car insurance, Iím stuck with the bill for any repairs that may be done or take on a car payment again. And since I am also without health insurance, these hospital bills will put a financial strain on our budget as well.

The police officer declared this a no-fault accident and did not write either one of us a ticket. My father-in-law is trying to help me get this straightened out. He said that this officer should have issued a ticket to the St. Louis driver for running the stop sign. This process will probably take a few weeks to hash out the details. It is frustrating to me, but Iím too sore to do anything about it at this time.

Right now, Iím just glad to be alive. Iím still in a lot of pain and have bruises all along the front of my body. I didnít know bruises could have so many different colors! I count at least 7 or 8 colors of the rainbow on my stomach area right now. Standing up for long periods of time makes my chest begin to feel like it weighs a ton. And if I sit or lie down, I have to take it slow and easy and it is still painful. Overall, I guess Iíll have to get used to this for a few weeks or even months until I fully recuperate from the injuries.

What aggravates me the most is the fact that I wouldnít be hurting as bad as I am if there wasnít an airbag in my car. That airbag is responsible for most of my pain. While I am glad it protected me from flying through the windshield, I am sure the seat belt would have sufficed alone to help me. I will now join the crusade of people spreading the dangers of airbags. I noticed the caution about airbags on my overhead visor said ďdonít sit too close to the steering wheel.Ē What are you supposed to do, lean back right before you crash into something? Are these people serious? Sheeez!

Again, let me publicly thank each of you for praying for my health during this difficult time. I appreciate and love you more than you will ever realize. I may be damaged physically, but my spirit is running full force. I am eager to get back to writing again as soon as my strength comes back to me.

I'm glad to be back in South Carolina.

Post a comment for this column

You must be logged in to participate. You may use the MyVoice! area at the top of this page to log in, or you may set up a new account.


Use the partisanometer to put this columnist in his place - liberal or conservative? Just click left or right. First, you'll need to sign on.

Join in the fun! Sign on and give your rating on the partisanometer.


Join in the fun! Sign on and give this article a thumbs down or a thumbs up.


Refer Column

Refer this column to a friend. Highlight the fields below, fill them out and press "Send."



Send your comment to the author of this column.


No fault: Don't let them get away with that crap. Depending on the state and the insurance company policies, if neither driver is at fault then neither insurance company has to pay. I am pretty sure about this but don't know the details. . . .

Read the rest.

Site Stuff

Sessions: 814845
Members: 829

  South Carolina Headlines
Made possible by The Worthwhile Company, Inc.