Tricia and the kids were involved in a major car crash this past Wednesday (April 27). They were traveling in the minivan when a car pulled out in front of them, effectively blocking the street. The police drawing below more or less shows what happened. Tricia was traveling west-bound when the car pulled out, presumably to turn left. Apparently the driver didn’t see Tricia, because she pulled out directly in front of the minivan (the minivan is white, car is black).
The minivan and the car collided as Tricia swerved hard to the left (to avoid T-boning the car). From the damage to the vehicles (and confirmed by the police report), it appears the minivan and car swung around, with the rear of the car slamming into the middle of the minivan, right next to Abigail, who was sitting in the middle row on the passenger side. The window next to Abigail exploded into a million tiny pieces, just as the safety glass is supposed to perform. At that point, Tricia no longer had firm control of the minivan, and it barreled over the raised median before crossing the other lane and slamming into a living wall made of small trees/huge shrubs.
The story on the other driver is sketchy but bad. Apparently, she ran off the road, went down an incline, and ended up in a ditch. Rescue personnel had to cut her out of her car, at which point she was taken by helicopter to the hospital. As far as we know, she remains in the hospital but is alive, and our family is praying for her well-being.
When the care-flight arrived, the police immediately began treating the entire scene as a potential criminal investigation, and proceeded to shut down the road entirely and video/photograph everything. Our car was impounded as evidence, and remains held by the police at the pound today (thus the picture below was taken from about 100 yards out behind the fence). We really don’t know yet how all this will resolve, though the copy of the police report I’ve seen clearly states the other driver failed to yield the right of way.
There’s so much to say at this point, it is hard to know where to begin. Tricia called me immediately after the crash as the children screamed in the background. When I got to the scene, Tricia had extricated all three children from the minivan, though she was in incredible pain and the van was mostly buried in tree/shrub branches. All three children were alive and whole, though in much pain and in a whimpering sort of shock. Abigail’s nose was bleeding and her chest hurt quite badly (and has continued to hurt since), Nicolas had a laceration on his neck that was oozing blood, and Jonathan had about a third of his face swelling (now it has resolved nicely into a black eye). Basically, the children all looked and acted like they had fallen down a flight of stairs.
Tricia, however, hurt tremendously and ended up being taken to the hospital in an ambulance while I and my mother (who showed up shortly after I did) took the kids to the same emergency room by car. As it turns out, Tricia had a broken sternum, a sprained ankle, and several enormous, deep bruises, along with a bloody nose, bloody mouth, and more minor bruising on her face and body.
Additionally, all this time we were horrified by the prospect that the baby in Tricia’s womb was dead, but they detected a strong heart beat at the hospital. For this and for the protection of our other children we are enormously thankful to God, a strong shield in times of trouble. Everyone got checked out at the hospital and then we went home to begin sorting out what would come next. As it turns out, a broken sternum is one of those incredibly painful, debilitating injuries for which there is no real treatment other than the passage of time. That first day we began to realize that magnitude of the injuries to Tricia, as she was unable to anything on her own and remained in massive pain even when laying still… but I’ll let her post the details of her experience.
The next hurdle came late on Thursday, when Tricia stopped sensing any movement from the baby (17 weeks along). Friday afternoon found us at the OBGYN fearing the worst only to discover that the baby is doing great and that this next Horne is a boy! Talk about going from a low to a high.
In all this, we have seen God’s provision. Though he providentially allowed the accident to take place, his provision since has been abundantly seen, particularly through the generosity of numerous people. Ruth (my mother) has spent each night and day with us since the wreck, a support that has been invaluable. Tonight she is spending a well-earned rest at her own home. Stephanie Clemmons has been a tremendous help in ways too numerous to mention (shopping, child-care, laundry, etc.). Our sister-in-law, Jamison Brunone, spent her day off on Friday helping us as well. Not to mention the many meals being provided by Abigail’s school and our church, the countless offers to help with the children (thank, Aguilars! Abigail had a great time this afternoon), and other mercies.
There is still much to come, as Tricia slowly heals, we find out the next steps the police are planning, we find out if our minivan will be totaled, we sort out all the insurance issues, and we try to return to normal life after experiencing how fleeting life can be. But praise God we are all alive and more or less whole to work through these issues together!