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Family Vacation: The Trip We Never Made

Joined: 8/31/2014
Posts: 3
When you are living in Florida driving is almost a necessity. So I learned to drive and got myself a license in 1975.

Our family vacation was to be in Key West. With much anticipation, the car was inspected a day before and was packed the night before.

“Dad, how much longer to get to Key West?” Greg sounded from the back seat as he was getting bored. “Mom, I’m thirsty. Can I have something to drink?” at Greg’s side Dean followed as if he had to say something, too. “All right, we will stop soon. Meantime look for an alligator,” I tried to redirect the boys’ mood. Bill stopped at the side of the highway. I knew we were around the corner of Lake Okeechobee, the largest lake in Florida state. I took out 7-Up and Coke bottles from the cooler. We quenched our thirst, then we were off again to catch up on our driving. “I will drive so you can rest a little,” I offered . “Okay,” Bill agreed.

We were zooming away, and then the road curved a little. Suddenly the car swayed! It seemed to be pulling itself left and right. The car was out of my control. My mind went blank but felt like getting swung around. It was a matter of seconds, but felt like several minutes. With a sound of a solid “bang!” the motion came to a stop. “Oh at last it stopped,” my consciousness regained.

“Kathy! Kathy!” Bill needed my assurance. I realized we were in upside-down positions and our car was in the swamp. I grabbed the door handle; thank God it opened. “Oh my arm,” Bill said covering his right arm with his left. I went to the back seat to get Dean who was screaming with pain. Bill pulled out Greg, who was unconscious, with his left arm. As I walked out of the car, the water felt slimy and murky. Some travelers were watching us from the edge of the highway. I yelled, “Please call for help!” “We already did!” they yelled back. We waited for the EMS to come. We sat and watched our suitcases, Styrofoam cooler, plastic cups, and beach sandals floating in muddy water.

After receiving emergency care at a local hospital, we requested transfer back to the hospital near our home. Although the ride was about four hours, it felt like days. Bill, Greg, and Dean were in the back of the ambulance on the stretchers; I sat in the front next to the driver mumbling “I can’t believe this, I can’t believe this” repeatedly.

Bill went into ICU for his ribs and right arm broken bones. Greg was kept for observation for concussion. Dean, who had a broken arm, and I, who got away with only cuts and bruises, were able to go home. I trembled all night.

We still travel and enjoy vacations but this was one unfortunate incident which reminds us how fortunate our family has been.
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Comment by warren

Joined: 6/22/2011
Posts: 293
That's one almost vacation you'll never forget. How lucky it wasn't worse.
Posted: Sunday, August 30, 2015 7:45:46 PM
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