Never in my life I have imagined that I would experience getting involved in an accident with a Ten-Wheeler truck.
But that’s something I experienced about 15 years ago, a year before I got married.
People say that you would become prone to accidents when you are about to tie the knot that’s why you would need to take extra care.
And I think there’s a little truth to that because this one happened to me.
MARCH 10, 2006 AT AROUND 10:00PM, I was driving my way to work.
It was just a very ordinary Friday night to me; last workday of the week, dress-down at the office, I was thinking about what would happen during the VA Calibration during the latter part of the shift (like I would always have in mind every Friday), and I was planning on leaving the office quite later than the usual since my then-fiance was out of the country, anyway, so I didn’t have any other personal itinerary throughout the weekend.
In short, there was no premonition or early day sickness of any sort that would have given me a hint that a shocking experience was about to happen to me that very peaceful Friday night.
I put on my favorite shirt and my not-so-favorite pants. Friday is just around every work-week so I could always wear something more favorable. I didn’t even think that it could have been my “last Friday”.
Thank God, that wasn’t!
After dinner, I received a phone call from my then-fiance.
His plane had just landed on LAX and he wanted me to know that he’s safe and there’s nothing to worry about. Before we ended the conversation, he said the usual,
“Take care on your way to work, especially now that I’m not around.”
And I answered,
“Of course! Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.”
I didn’t feel any chill right after saying those words and all I was thinking was the need to go to work earlier than usual because I still had tons of things to do.
Again, it was all about work!
The next scene was me driving along EDSA.
I knew I would soon approach the Ortigas Flyover so I would need to stay on either the 2nd or 3rd lane from my left to avoid having the need to do an irresponsible swerving.
After all, I am a defensive driver and I avoid committing violations as much as possible.
Just when I thought I was driving safely and all, a flying yellow traffic cone suddenly caught my attention because it was going towards my direction. It flew out off a truck which suddenly appeared on the leftmost lane.
I suddenly woke up from a lazy driving mode.
My biggest concern as an initial instinct was how to slow down from 4th gear without causing someone else’s accident.
Fortunately, with enough time and distance left, I was able to put the car to a complete halt without harming anybody, including myself.
However, the yellow traffic cone went in through my car’s whole cavity which prevented me from leaving the spot in the middle of EDSA.
So there I was, helpless and almost panicky. I couldn’t think of someone to call for help and ask to come over since all of them might already be sleeping and I didn’t want to bother anyone.
I was really struggling to think of anyone who could come to rescue me because my brother was in New Zealand, my then-fiance was in the US, and I didn’t want to freak the hell out of my mother.
There’s really no one else left to help me out apart from my poor self.
Without wasting more time, I put the car on hazard, carefully stepped out of it, and bent to check and see what happened underneath.
I could still remember the choking smell of heavily polluted air and, of course, the crazy noise coming from the horns, which if only I could translate might be shouting how stupid I was for even trying to do that in the middle of a deadly spot.
At 11:45PM, there was an instant traffic jam along EDSA.
Thanks to me and my stupid idea!
My vision was getting blurry and it felt as if I was in a game show running out of lifeline.
Suddenly, a car stopped and parked in front of mine. A cold but concerned voice filled my ears saying,
“What’s the problem, miss? You could be in danger with what you’re trying to do.”
Upon hearing that voice, I knew that it was God’s way of sending His help.
I immediately got up and answered in a slightly desperate tone,
“There’s a traffic device that’s stuck underneath my car that’s why I couldn’t pull-over.”
The guy responded,
“I see. Alright! Please stand up and let me help you with that, instead. You’re only putting yourself at risk of getting ran over by cars so just stay inside and let us see what we could do. By the way, do you have a Jack? Mine is jammed so I would need another one.”
Jack? Oh no!
Yeah, I knew that there’s a Jack somewhere inside the car’s compartment, however, it’s tightly screwed and I wasn’t sure if I had a Screwdriver. So I answered,
“Yes, I have. But we haven’t used it so I’m pretty sure it’s still tightly fixed.”
“Oh! Don’t worry, let me see if I could still get it. We’d need that to remove whatever is stuck underneath your car.”
The guy insisted so I opened the compartment in order to show it to him and he said,
“Well, you’re right! It looks like we would have a hard time putting that to use. Okay, let me try my Jack, instead. Let’s see if I could still do something to make it work.”
That’s when I noticed that he’s not alone. He was with 2 other guys who were also trying to think of a solution to help.
I closed the compartment and was about to check on the gentlemen when, suddenly, I noticed that one of the guys was looking flushed while looking at my direction. As if he was trying to give me a warning through his worried eyes.
The next series of events happened really fast! It happened so fast that I wasn’t able to move myself away when he shouted,
The succeeding scenes were like the ones I could only see on films which I never imagined I would experience in real life.
I swear! I was wide awake while feeling every inch of the side of that Ten-Wheeler truck as it hit against my body.
I still managed to remain standing but turning around as I fought against the intense force.
I couldn’t believe that I just got hit by a Ten-Wheeler!
On a weird and funny note, I didn’t expect that during that tragic moment I could still afford to feel more humiliated than scared.
Humiliated by the thought that those guys were just trying to help me get the car out of the road; however, there goes my careless self putting them on a more serious responsibility.
I remember shouting for my life until I finally stumbled and found myself lying on the road.
But I was wrong when I thought that that was the end of it.
I wasn’t prepared for a climax that was about to happen when the 10th wheel of the Ten-Wheeler truck ran over my left foot!
Take note: I was almost barefooted that night because I was only wearing my favorite open sandals. Also, my foot was turned sideways which made it more dangerous and prone to breaking bones.
That was one horrifying experience I would never forget.
The next thing I remember was hearing the voice of the guys trying to stop the truck to hold the driver responsible for what had just happened. One of them immediately tried to help me stand up and said,
“Are you okay, miss? Come on, get up! We’ll bring you to the hospital.”
Apparently, the guy didn’t notice that my foot was badly hurt. As he was helping me to get up, I cried while saying,
That was the only time when he learned that my foot was seriously injured.
Honestly, I was ready to die or realize that I just lost one of my feet.
Thankfully, none of those two scenarios happened for real!
The guy carried me to bring me inside my car.
I was still in shock and couldn’t believe that after what happened I was still alive. I was even able to think about calling my then-supervisor in order to tell her that I would come in late for work.
Funny, I know, but it’s true!
My then-supervisor sounded neutral at first until she heard me state the reason. She started to feel worried and immediately asked for my location.
As a self-confessed Drama Queen, I imagined myself caught in one of the most usual mellow-dramatic scenes wherein a woman was trying to recollect her thoughts right after getting involved in a serious accident; waiting for a flashback, which they say would involuntarily hit your brains once you’ve experienced a near-death scenario.
Ironically, to my disappointment, none occurred to me. It wasn’t my time yet, I thought.
I was really trying my best to calm myself down until, suddenly, I felt a warm liquid sneaking from one side of my head.
I immediately checked my hand only to see my own blood!
Only then I realized that I hit my head on the ground when I stumbled and there was blood all over my shirt and the seat cover because the blood was continuously gushing out.
I could have won an award with the way I reacted; seeing blood makes me weak.
Although it took the guys quite sometime for them to rush me to the hospital, how they were able to take the yellow traffic device off the car without using any tool still remains a mystery to me up to this day.
Adrenaline rush must have helped a lot!
On our way to The Medical City Ortigas (this hospital was still pretty new at that time), my phone rang. It was my mom calling.
I realized that it’s already past 11:00PM and I knew that she’s definitely worrying because I would always ring her phone once just to give her a sign that I have safely reached the office.
Left with no choice, I answered the phone while trying to keep a neutral tone so as not to give her a hint that I was in a difficult situation.
But since I couldn’t keep anything from my mom, I ended up telling her the truth as soon as she asked me why I haven’t given her a missed call. I said,
“Mom, please don’t freak out. I got into a little accident but I’m okay so don’t worry.”
Well, I kind of expected that she won’t follow my plead that’s why I wasn’t surprised when she started freaking out, anyway. She said,
“What? What happened to you? Where are you now?”
Inside The Medical City Ortigas Emergency facility I found myself admiring the whole place to the point that I almost forgot the reason why I was brought there in the first place.
The hospital was still new so it was very neat.
For the very first time, I experienced one of the best perks of being an e-PLDT employee because of the comprehensive medical benefits.
With a single flashing of my ID, everything came out organized and I didn’t pay even a single centavo.
While sitting on a wheelchair as I was being pushed into an isolated room for a series of interrogation, my phone suddenly rang; that was a call from one of my colleagues who learned about what happened. With a worried voice he asked,
“Hey, girl, what happened? Are you okay?”
I answered with a very positive tone,
“Yes, I am. Why? What did they tell you happened to me?”
He answered in a suspecting tone,
“What do you mean? Hello! As if I didn’t know about the accident. You freaked us out! How are you? We were all shocked when we heard the news from Phia.”
I managed to let out some giggles while saying,
“Wow! The news spread that fast, huh! Please tell everyone I’m fine. They’re taking good care of me here at the Emergency room. They would soon stitch my wounds.”
“Crazy you! You still manage to joke about it after all that happened. Was it true you got hit by a Ten-Wheeler?”
“Oh! Sorry, not sure because I lost count while the truck was busy running over my foot.”
And we both just laughed about it.
Of course, I was just kidding at that time. Deep inside, I was really trying to console myself and control my fears although in reality I was shivering to death; especially since that was my very first time to get rushed to the hospital.
There were 3 nurses who assisted me all throughout; one of which almost couldn’t believe that I would still be able to crack a joke after a very terrifying accident which almost caused me my life.
The nurse who was disinfecting the wounds on my head said,
“Ma’am, please stay put and refrain from moving so I could shave the side of your head properly in order to stitch your wounds.”
I immediately reacted, attempted to stop the nurse from proceeding, and asked,
“Wait! Question, please! Would my hair grow back?”
While trying to hold back his giggles, the nurse replied,
“Yes, of course. Don’t worry.”
That scene was a little awkward but I just simply couldn’t refrain from asking. I didn’t have any plans of sporting a weird hairstyle after the accident, after all.
Besides, I survived the accident unharmed so I would really wanted to get out of that hospital without any obvious trace of that traumatic incident.
After the 2 nerve-wracking stitches (yeah, because that’s not my thing!) on the upper right side of my head and Adrenaline-pumping anti-fracture cement molded on my left foot, the door suddenly opened.
My mom finally arrived and she rushed towards me. She was almost ready to cry while saying,
“Oh, God! My daughter! I thought you said there’s nothing to worry about? You don’t look good. How are you feeling? Are you in pain?”
I couldn’t say a word because that was the only moment when I felt that I wanted to break in tears to show the real emotions that I’ve been trying hide.
Seeing your mother crying really demolishes your composure.
But I still decided not to because I wanted to be strong for her, so, instead of crying, I just let out a wide smile to stop my mom from worrying too much (though my eyes were getting ready to jerk tears).
I got rushed into another room for a session of CT Scan. The doctor wanted to see if I broke any bones.
To everybody’s surprise (myself included), the doctor declared that there’s not even a slightly damaged bone structure which was found during the scan.
Up to this very moment, I still couldn’t believe how I survived that accident without any obvious physical clues.
I should be thanking myself for being addicted to milk and cheese, perhaps?
But, yeah, maybe I deserved to be called a Calcium Kid because of that experience.
Under the doctor’s recommendations, I was not able to come to work for more than a month and I stopped going to the gym as well because working out would only strain my legs and feet.
That’s why I gained so much weight! Good thing I still had 10 months to lose the weight before my actual wedding on January 2007.
But with everything that happened, I was so thankful for being given another life. Thanks to those guys who came in to rescue me!
They were a group of good guys who made me believe in the goodness of humanity even more.
Imagine, the three of them were just on their way home after attending a party when they saw me in the middle of desperation.
I learned that the main guy who helped me (I believe his name was Renzi) just came back home to the Philippines from Dubai where he was working.
Apparently, he came back to the Philippines because he was also about to get married to his fiance who lives here. They were still in the process of doing all the preparations, same with me and my then-fiance.
When I was rushed to the hospital, Renzi immediately surrendered my car keys to my then-supervisor. The 3 of them also stayed there and did not leave immediately until they’ve made sure that I was already safe.
I believe they only left when my mom already arrived.
I was so overwhelmed during that time (because I was also interviewed by a Police Officer who was investigating my case) so I failed to personally thank my heroes.
One of the biggest regrets that I have was not being able to thank those guys for saving my life. Though it’s a good thing that my then-supervisor was able to get Renzi’s phone number so at least I was able to thank him through SMS.
Unfortunately, he was also getting ready to fly back to Dubai when I had the chance to message him that’s why we were not able to meet him in person anymore.
My mom and I were really planning to host a dinner with them just to give our thanks.
I am also putting this story here in my blog because this is one of those experiences which make me remember that God is always around. I’m also hoping that I could still get a chance to meet my heroes in person in order to personally thank them.
Until then, I will continue to cherish the 2nd life that was given to me as a gift and put it to good use.
I hope they could read this.
After surviving many nights of having nightmares because I would always have bad dreams about that accident; the struggles of putting my self back in shape because I still had many wounds around my body and Soft Tissue Contusion on my right leg; and the challenges of using crutches for 3 months, I realized that I was still happy because it was me who experienced the accident, not anyone else in my family.
But if you were thinking that the scary accident traumatized me from holding the wheels once more, you’re wrong.
Because after 3 months of going on therapy, I could be seen driving the same car again, along the same road again…EDSA!
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