Car Crash

October 25, 2018

On Saturday morning I had a head-on collision at 75MPH, Medevac helicopter, serious internal bleeding, no broken bones. I spent four days in hospital, including one-and-a-half days in intensive care. I am home now, moving slowly but mostly okay.

I was alone in the car on an interstate highway early in the morning, heading to a weekend with friends away from home. About a minute ahead of me, an 18-wheel tractor/trailer rig hit a deer, lost control, jack-knifed and overturned, leaving the right lane blocked with the bottom of the tractor facing oncoming traffic. Because it was still astronomical twilight, with no moon and no street lamps, I did not see the tractor until it was within range of my headlights, and I was unable to avoid the collision, although I did partially swerve and struck only the right half of my car, from centerline to right side, spinning twice.

In the car about fifteen seconds behind me were four volunteer firefighters on their way to start their shift, so they were on the scene in seconds. They helped me out of the car, and I walked under my own power to the ambulance. The trainee driver of the truck was uninjured. The lead driver of the truck was asleep in the cab’s bed, and suffered a broken left leg.

My left ankle has a deep bruise, but is not broken, from striking the brake pedal; it is painful. My belly has a deep bruise from striking the steering wheel, and was the source of the internal bleeding; I take blood-thinning medication due to two prior pulmonary embolisms, so the bleeding was serious. I was flown from a local hospital to a regional first-class trauma center shortly after the crash. They monitored the bleeding, which stopped on its own after about two days without need for surgery (which was a real possibility). The bruise on my right belly is about twice the size of my right hand with fingers splayed wide, and is mostly black, with a few tinges of deep purple; it is not painful unless I bend or twist badly, which I have learned not to do. I am wearing a corset (the hospital calls it an abdominal binder) and taking a very low dose of pain-killers.

I’ve spoken to my boss; she even came to the hospital to visit and bring flowers. I’ll be away from work for at least several weeks, and away from blogging for just as long. I would appreciate it if my readers keep doing exercises while I am away; just look for any old exercises that strike your fancy.


18 Responses to “Car Crash”

  1. Steve said

    So sorry to hear about your accident – It’s amazing you walked away under your own power and with no broken bones. I will keep you in my prayers. And thanks for your exercise. Keeps me quite engaged.

  2. matthew said

    Very sorry to hear that. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  3. Graham said

    I’m very sorry to hear about your accident and offer my fondest wishes on the speediest of recoveries!

  4. Daniel said

    I hope you’re doing okay and get well soon.

  5. Paul said

    What a sad story. I hope you recover soon.

  6. Rohan Mcleod said

    Dear author of programming praxis ,hope your injuries will soon repair and whatever pain disappear.
    Thanks for the story; reminds me that I don’t know your age , name, gender or location.
    Impression is young, male , north America ?
    Here in Victoria , Australia the wildlife on the highway is more likely kangaroos and 75 MPH is 125KPH;
    which I only reach when passing other vehicles down hill on a freeway,
    away from speed cameras (110KPH legal max).
    regards Rohan ……hobby programmer very occasional compiled Basic and aspirations to Julia !

  7. Chase said

    Wow… I am glad to hear you made it through that experience. Truly something that can happen to any one of us! This is my first time visiting your blog, but I am enjoying the exercises you have here. I hope you have a speedy recovery.


  8. Alex B said

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  9. programmingpraxis said

    Many thanks to all for your good wishes. Thanks also for accepting my request to keep solving old exercises. Please don’t slack off in the days and weeks ahead. It is really true that all the response from my readers keeps me going.

    My name is Phil. I am male, 62 years of age, and happily accept @Rohan’s characterization as “young.” I live in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA, where in my day job I work for the local community college as a programmer supporting our enterprise-wide control and reporting system. The speed limit where the crash occurred is 70 MPH.

    It is the time of the year when the bucks are randy but the does are not yet in season, which leads to lots of aggressive behavior from the bucks. They told me at the hospital they have been having several deer strikes per day for the last week, especially just before dawn and just after dusk; my crash was at 5:50am, over a half hour before nautical twilight and over an hour before sunrise, with no moon.

    I’ve been receiving private emails as well as public comments. One person asked about the car that kept me alive during a 75 MPH head-on collision. I was driving a 2015 Nissan Altima. The car sundered itself into a thousand or more pieces, each carrying away some of the energy of the impact of the crash, but the passenger compartment was relatively intact (not completely, someone in the front passenger seat would likely have been injured more seriously than I was). I will probably replace my car with another Nissan Altima, now that I have excellent evidence of its strength and safety. I will also, at my daughter’s urging, sign up for a Medic Alert necklace so medical personnel know of my conditions even when I am unable to speak.

  10. abacs said

    Get better, Phil!

  11. Himanshu said

    So sorry to hear about your accident..Best wishes for a speediest recovery to you.

  12. chaw said

    I wish you a good and speedy recovery.

  13. Rodnee said

    Wishing you a quick recovery.

  14. yyou said

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  15. Steve said

    Phil (Programming Praxis) urged us to keep solving problems and I thought of one which happily kept me occupied for a while. It had to do with the value of applying constraints. The original article is archived here: . I used Forth 24 years ago on a 286 to craft a solution. It took 75 minutes, as I remember, in the version with no constraints. With constraints it ran in mere seconds.

    See the 3rd paragraph in the Constrained Search section of the article.

  16. Ben Simon said

    Holy smokes! So glad to hear you walked away from the crash, and I wish you a speedy recovery.

    I’m sure you’ll use the healing time to think up some wicked problems ;-)

    I’m traveling tomorrow, and I know that my cramped airline ride is go to whiz by thanks to this exercise I recently discovered:

    Feel 100% soon!

  17. […] States, and I have much to be thankful for this year, being alive and mostly uninjured after a horrible car crash. While I was in the intensive care unit, I lost over a gallon of blood where the steering wheel […]

  18. Happy 2019, and I hope you are mostly recovered from that amazing car crash. Your coding challenges are the best source I know for STEM-style coding projects in high school computer science classes. I am 15 years your senior, and my greatest wish for the coming year is that we can both keep doing this good work for decades to come.

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