Many of us see several accidents and sometimes not think much of them, but when experiencing one yourself it’s a whole different story.

In my case, upon seeing car accidents I get flashbacks of when I experienced an accident that disabled me and changed my life forever. In 1978, two weeks before graduating from North Hollywood High School, I was driving home from school in a 1971 Volkswagen (VW) van, which many might know doesn’t not have anything in front of the steering wheel except the windshield. It happened after crossing an intersection of Chandler Boulevard and Lankershiem Boulevard in the city of North Hollywood. A lady under the influence did not see me and hit the VW van on the right side twice causing the van to swerve leftward up the sidewalk, barely missing a telephone pole but hitting a fence.

By not decelerating on the gas pedal, but instead accelerating while dizzy from the first impact, my VW van proceeded to knock down the fence, bending one of the poles that sustained the fence which went through the windshield breaking my skull in many pieces. I was in a coma for about a week, suffered several internal injuries that to this day I’m still recovering from.

Everything that I had planned after graduating came to a STOP and my life would never be the same again. This all happened in one split second.

Life can change anyone’s life for the worse in a split second due to car accidents. So ask yourselves, “Is it better to be at my destination a couple minutes later or rush to where I’m going and upping the chances that I may not get there at all.”

Gary Caceres

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