O/T: I've never seen my father cry... (UPDATED) - Off-Road Forums & Discussion Groups
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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2005, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
 
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O/T: I\'ve never seen my father cry... (UPDATED)

In my 25 years of life I have never seen my father cry... Until yesterday. I have a story to vent, which may get graphic at times but I appreciate the outlet.

At 3pm on New Years day I received a phone call from my younger brother in Ohio. He informed me that my Dad and stepmom were in a horrible accident.

In the past 3 years, my Father and Stepmother have purchased and fallen in love with Icelandic horses. They have acres of land behind they're house with beautiful paddocks and stables (which incidentally never get used since Icelandics love being outside).

They decided to go to a plantation in South Carolina over Christmas/New Years break for a 2 week extended vacation. They pulled two of our Mares behind our Motorhome and stayed on the plantation the whole time enjoying themsleves. All in all, it was a great break.

On New Years Eve, they packed up and began their ride back to Ohio. Near the North/South Carolina border there was a small car accident a few miles up which caused a slowdown in traffic with the usual rubberneckers. Apparently a vehicle had lost its wheel ahead and partially blocked the highway obviously causing traffic. As they slowly came to a stop my mom mentioned that she "sure hopes people behind them are noticing the slowdown." Right when she said that my dad looked down at the small tv in the dash which projected the image from the rear camera when he was shocked to see the last few seconds of a Semi-Truck barreling down on them at over 65 MPH.

The shock was incredible. To give you an idea, they had a 36" television in the area above their heads for the kitchen/dining/living room area of the motorhome. The instant of the collision, the 36" tv flew straight backwards until it hit the end of the cables and swung forward til it came to a stop between my dad and stepmom.

Immediately following the collision they managed to go out to see what damage had been done. The semi complete obliterated the aluminum trailer holding the two mares. After destroying the trailer, the semi continued onto our motorhome and begun to push the diesel motor into the rear bedroom of the motorhome. The semi pushed the motorhome onto the shoulder and 300 feet down the road. Luckily, the motorhome absorbed enough of the collision in that the semi did not reach the gas/propane tanks beneath the motorhome.

Both of the mares were killed instantly. On top of that, both of them were pregnant with one due in feb/march. The foal from that mare was ejected upon impact and was found on scene in the ditch. (I apologize for the graphicness). Thankfully, they had no idea what happened. They had no chance.

My Father and stepmom walked away without a scratch. The seats they were sitting in had really high backs so they did not have whiplash or anything - just complete and udder shock. The driver of the truck also walked away without harm. Although we all agree that he is going to have issues later in life. Not only did he have to watch the mutilation of two innocent horses, but, several slats from the aluminum trailer flew into his cab and skewered the seat on his right, and in his seat to the left. He came VERY close to dieing.

All in all my father said that the ten seconds that started from when the truck hit them to when they came to a stop cost a minimum of $375,000. This is just the cost of the horses and motorhome.

This is not counting the incredible emotional loss they experienced from losing their two mares. These horses were imported from ICELAND with true ICELANDIC blood lines to help develop a herd that they can use to start a riding business when they retire from their current jobs. Thousands of hours and dollars have been lost from the negligence of one man who simply couldn't accept the responsibility of paying attention to what is going on around him.

Four Ir-replacable horses lost their lives New Years Eve. A bloodline of horses came to an abrupt end.

My dad has a very stressful job. He owns his own consulting company which, while is very lucrative, is VERY stressful as well. The horses were a release for him. It helped rein his stress back into something that is managable, thus increasing his health.

The only comforting thought we can come up with right now is that we know the horses had two weeks of relaxation and gentle yet fun trailriding before their unfortunate demise.

There's something innocent about animals. Whether they are 2000 lb horses, or 2 lb dogs, the fact that they can't seem to intentionally do harm. Thats what makes this tragic.

Sean
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2005, 06:47 AM
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Re: O/T: I\'ve never seen my father cry...

[img]images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] Man,.....that is SO GRIM! [img]images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] As bad as that was, however, it could have been very much worse: if the motor home was smaller; if the trailer was home in the driveway instead of hitched to the MH; if the trailer was less deformable and therefore less able to absorb energy; and if the motor home was gasoline powered. [img]images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] Don't be too sure about the truck driver having "issues" later on in life; many careless drivers treat accidents very casually; almost as a "cost of doing business" and all they really care about is getting back to work....driving; and how the "incident" affects THEM. [img]images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2005, 07:00 AM
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Re: O/T: I\'ve never seen my father cry...

I am so sorry for your loss, losing a pet/friend is always tough, but even more so in a case such as this....it breaks my heart to think about it. I am glad that your parents are ok, it could have been much worse....
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2005, 06:20 PM
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Re: O/T: I\'ve never seen my father cry...

Thats terrible. I feel sorry for their loss. But at least both of them came out OK. (the main thing) I actually replied just to state about your father crying for the first time to you. I only saw my dad cry one time. While he was as compassionate as could be he was very strong. It pained me the day I saw him cry. Not that he wasn't allowed to, but just the fact that things were bad enough for him to do so. I was never mad or ashamed that he did. But I felt bad for him from that day to this one. Without going into the whole story........it was because of something that had to do with me. And thats why it still touches me.
Thanks for the story.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2005, 07:23 PM
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Re: O/T: I\'ve never seen my father cry...

Very sad indeed and I too am sorry for their/your loss. Thank God your folks were able to walk away from such a bad wreck. My Dad was a very stong and upright sort of man and I only saw him shed a tear once, when his Mother suddenly passed away. My beloved Father is gone now and I have shed many a tear since his passing.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2005, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: O/T: I\'ve never seen my father cry...

Thanks everyone for their sentiments. It has been a rough couple of days. My father is completely devastated. You all are right that we all have to be thankful that they escaped without a scratch.

When we look back at it. Not only did the horses save the lives of my Parents, but the fact that my Parents were sitting there in the motorhome, prevented the Semi from plowing into the massive amounts of cars lined up. Since the semi hit them, they potentially saves many lives that did not have to end up getting hit by the semi.

Its going to be a long rebuilding process. But I know my parents, and they'll handle it.

Sean
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-04-2005, 06:44 AM
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Re: O/T: I\'ve never seen my father cry...

It's not gonna help, but not only the truckdriver with his eyes in his pockets is to blame, but also the #$%^&* who lost his tire or wheel and caused the jam. Driving an unsave car is unsave in so many ways. I understand about the horses. They can't help trusting their owners. It always turned out to be OK...
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-04-2005, 09:30 AM
 
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Re: O/T: I\'ve never seen my father cry...

While I don't know that anything could actually compensate for such a loss, please let us know that justice gets done. Was there at least a blind corner involved, or shoud this guy never drive again?
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-04-2005, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: O/T: I\'ve never seen my father cry...

I'll keep you guys updated as to what happens. It should be interesting since there is a LOT of money at stake.

[ QUOTE ]
Was there at least a blind corner involved, or shoud this guy never drive again?

[/ QUOTE ]

It was a three-mile strip of Straight-as-an-arrow road. Gradual slope up. Bright and sunny day. 2pm.

There is no reason he could have possibly missed a 40 foot RV and 20 foot trailer.

Sean
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-06-2005, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: O/T: I\'ve never seen my father cry...

Well... The photos came in last night. These are pictures that were not graphic. There are some photos that have pictures with the horses in them but since this is a family forum, I'm not going to post them.

Believe it or not, there is a trailer between the Semi and the back of the motorhome in these pics.

Sean


EDIT: Alright, direct linking to the images isn't working. So, click

here to see the images in the album.

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