I was a sophomore at Boise High School. Almost 16 years old. Currently enrolled in a driver’s ed course that met in the classroom where I would take algebra 3/trigonometry from Mr. Stubblefield the next year.
John Weatherby already had his license. And he had a car and could drive places.
I have no clue how it came to be that John Weatherby, Josh Jaynes, Bryndi Joyce and I were all wanting to go to the mall together after school that day. (It was a Thursday, btw.) Suffice it to say that we were teenagers with a car. Doesn’t that usually mean you end up at the mall?
I have no memory of how I would normally get home from school. I guess I rode the bus. It is incredible to me that I can’t remember how I got to and from school my sophomore year in high school. Before or after October 24.
Whatever the case, I called my parents to ask if I could go with John and Josh and Bryndi and then have John drive me home. Note: I either got permission to use a phone in the office or I used a pay phone to make this call. Who had heard of cell phones then? But I note it because even as I write this story, my mind automatically pictures myself using a cell phone to call my parents.
I can’t remember if I told my mom we were going to the mall or if I told her we were going somewhere else. But I do remember that I lied to her about some part of it — either our destination or the reason that we NEEDED to go wherever I told her we were going. There was a lie in there somewhere. I’m sorry about that.
This is a lame story so far because I keep saying I can’t remember things.
Something else I don’t recall at all: driving to the mall. Or being at the mall. Or leaving the mall.
It’s not like I even remember calling my mom.
I just know that all this stuff happened before the part that I actually do remember.
What I remember: I am sitting behind John Weatherby in his station wagon. We are heading south on Leadville Avenue. We are not going particularly fast. I look up and see a stop sign up ahead. I have this odd sensation of knowing we should be slowing down as we approach the stop sign. But we are not slowing down. We are driving through the intersection without stopping. I look to the left as we enter the intersection and see the grill of a Ford Bronco.
End of memory.
More things I know but don’t remember.
The intersection where we got hit was the second stop sign we ran that day.
I wasn’t wearing a seat belt. The station wagon was old. It only had lap belts, which were buried and unreachable in the crevice between the seat and the seat back.
The impact of the Bronco sent me flying toward Bryndi.
Bryndi cracked some vertebrae in her neck.
Josh was basically unharmed and got out of the car and sat on the ground and waited.
John broke some ribs and punctured a lung.
I broke my right femur, right humerus, and right clavicle.
Many, many pieces of glass ended up embedded in the left side of my face.
I was taken by ambulance to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center.
I was wearing my favorite blue v-neck sweater. It — and my other clothes — had to be cut off me in the ER.
I did not lose consciousness. I was screaming/crying in the car after it came to rest against a telephone pole on the southwest corner of the intersection. I was also awake and talking to people — including my parents, who had been urgently summoned to the hospital — in the ER.
My next memory: I am lying on my back and can see the lights pass by as I roll down a hallway.
I was on my way to the OR to have a plate fastened to my humerus with 11 screws and a rod inserted into my femur. No casts for my broken bones.
I believe the surgery happened on October 24. But I can’t really be sure because, well, you know… I don’t remember.