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WARPIG Tourney Talk

Mike of Static AKA

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Posted by:
Stephanie "Steph" George
on March 24, 2003 at 14:37:18

On Friday morning, March 21, 2003 Jack and I received the phone call that we never wanted to hear at 2:15am. Our son, Mike, had been in an accident and they were transporting him to North Florida Regional Medical Center in Gainesville, Florida.

The circumstances of the accident were clear: Mike had been drinking and he was driving way too fast down a country road that he had driven many times to his girlfriend's house "to surprise her." At an intersection, he saw the Stop sign too late, skidded while breaking too hard from his incredible speed, lost control of his car and plowed into a tree. Those are the facts.

What makes this every bit a miracle are all of the little things along the way that preserved his life. Mike is alive and we will truly celebrate his 19th birthday on the 9th of April. He's alive - and with only a broken right arm, a broken right leg and some internal injuries due to the lap belt portion of his primary seat restraint that have been repaired. No head injury, no spine injury.

Since I'm not much of a story-teller, I'll just bullet-point some of the amazing details that preserved Mike's life that morning:
- Fair weather and Mike was riding with his windows down
- As impaired as he was, he put on his seatbelt. That means that it's an automatic action for him when he's behind the wheel. (Yea! We trained him! We did our job as parents!)
- We bought him a car with an airbag. Ok, so that's not so much amazing as practical. But the thing worked!
- He crashed at an intersection of a remote country road - and the only intersection in the area with houses close to the road so someone called it in immediately.
- As his car left the pavement, he hit a lump of dirt in the ditch that broke his trajectory to the tree just a couple of degrees so that his car impacted such that the engine & all the heavy stuff in the engine compartment went towards the passenger side of the car.
- He had no passengers!
- There were no other cars involved!
- No pins, plates or surgeries required to line up his broken arm or leg.
- The Rescue Station was only 9 minutes away.

His father, Jack, repairs wrecked cars for a living and has never seen a wrecked vehicle like this in his life in which any of the occupants lived. Jack has been repairing wrecked cars since his was 13 years old, he's worked as a Sheriff's deputy and an auto insurance adjuster. Jack has seen *lots* of wrecked cars. No one at the shop where Jack works could really believe that Mike survived this scene.

Here are the photos:

Mike has been working in the body shop for the last couple of years, too, learning his father's trade. Mike was sobered - really, really sobered - when he saw these pictures. The tree bark was 1" away from the windshield. He really and truly wrapped this car around a tree and survived. The tree, by the way, seems to be doing just fine.

Mike would like to put this car on a trailer and put it in front of area High Schools and tell his story. By the way, we're going to raise the money for the trailer to do this. We estimate that it will cost us about $700 to do this for him. If you know of a direct contact in an organization such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving or Students Against Drunk Driving who will help us collect and organize this, please let us know.

Mike lost a lot that morning. He lost his car. If you know Mike, you know that it was his pride and joy. He polished it and kept it and it was as hip a car as they come for an 18 year-old guy. As Mike said from his bed in the ICU last night, though, "It's just a car." And he means that.

Mike's out of playing paintball for a while. Though he's already working his fingers on his right hand to get them back to his legendary two-finger-action trigger speed. I don't think he'll really be out that long.

He'll probably lose his driver's license for a while.

Mike really and truly got his life, and his friends and his family.

And we still have Mike.

I can't ask for anything more.



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