With many automobile crashes, it is often only luck that saves an individual after a crash. In most cases, the crash occurs so quickly that even eyewitnesses cannot comprehend what just occurred. A driver loses control, often due to intoxication, fatigue, drugs, texting or some other source of distraction. A car crosses a lane, misses a curve or fails to stop for other traffic.
However, with the growing use of traffic, dashboard and surveillance cameras, we sometimes are offered a glimpse into the frightening seconds that precede a severe motor vehicle crash. This week, just outside of Chicago in suburban Wilmette, a woman drove her car into a beauty salon.
It gets ugly at the beauty salon
The 83-year-old driver apparently stepped on the accelerator instead of the brake as she attempted to park her car. She crashed through the front wall of the salon and her vehicle finally came to a stop 20 feet inside the building.
Given that there were patrons and employees in the salon at the time of the crash, just before noon, it is astounding that no one suffered serious injuries. The elderly driver received non-life threatening injuries, probably due to the force of the collision and potentially the airbag being triggered.
Surveillance video from the salon shows two employees working behind the desk and a patron or two waiting on a couch. Suddenly the front wall explodes and a vehicle crashes through the waiting area and half of its length disappears inside the interior wall of the salon.
The car enters the salon at an angle, which is what likely saves the two women behind the desk. Had the car struck the desk, the women would have been smashed between the car, desk and wall.
In such case, it is likely they would have suffered severe internal injuries, faced significant time in a hospital, endured surgeries and months of rehabilitation or other therapy.
When unexpected accidents happen
When accidents like this happen, victims and families are forced to deal with very complex coverage issues, insurance company disputes and confusing workers' compensation policies. In such cases, an attorney is best to handle the difficult and time-consuming work necessary to secure compensation for suffered injuries.
In this case, while the women may not look back on this as a good day, they likely realize that it may have been the luckiest day of their lives.