Friday, January 06, 2012

My Son and His Most Recent Accident

     So on Wednesday at about 6 PM I get a call from my oldest son (he will be 18 on Monday and is mentally disabled.) He tells me, "Guess what Mom! I ran into a car with my bike." My mind, of course, goes to, "Crap, how much is this going to cost?" But like a good mom, instead I ask, "Are you okay?" After some conversing and a little more detail I realize that he meant that he ran into a MOVING car. Yes, a moving car on the main road, that was driving 45 MPH! Now I'm all like, "Oh Shit! Are you sure you're okay? Where are you?" He says, "At Luna's," all calm like nothing is wrong. So I'm thinking, "Okay, he's fine then. He went off to his friend's house, didn't go to the hospital or anything." So he proceeds to tell me that the lady he ran into stopped, checked to see if he was okay, then moved her car out of the road and called the police. At this point (yes, I'm a little slow) I'm realizing that he left the scene of an accident, "Crap!" He could not identify the vehicle for me or anything. He took off because he was afraid he would get in trouble for jay walking because I am forever telling him that jay walking is a crime. Now, because he was on a bicycle, I don't know that it would be considered jay walking, but anyway...He is okay. About an hour and a half later, he calls me and says, "I think I'm going to need a sling. I can't lift my arm or bend my elbow." Now I'm back to, "Crap! Okay, where are you, I'll come get you and take you to the hospital." I have my mom come over to babysit my two younger children, 10 and 9. I go get him, he's holding his arm and can barely walk and he tells me, "My 360 is broke." Me: "What?" Him: "Yea, it was in my backpack, when I fell, it broke." Me: "Okay well, we'll worry about that later." Him: "Okay." I load his bike in the car and we go to the hospital. By the time we get there, it's after 7 PM.
     Now, at the hospital, we check in. They get him back fairly quickly, bypassing other people who were there waiting. They ask a million questions about what happened, how it happened, whose fault is it, where it happened and at what time. In less than an hour, we've been moved from the Emergency Room to Pediatrics (because you see, he's not actually 18 until Monday.) About 9 PM, we finally get the X-rays done and then wait another hour for the doctor. As it turns out, his foot is not broken but his ankle is sprained and there's no visible break in his arm but the extreme swelling in the joint indicates that there is an "invisible fracture" that will be visible within 3-5 days. So another hour later, they finally come and put what is called a splint cast on his arm (kind of like a half of a cast that goes up the length of his arm, around the back of the elbow and halfway up his upper arm and then wrapped with a bandage) and an ace bandage on his ankle. We get home about 5 mins to midnight and we are done.

     Enter Thursday, I call the local police department to make sure that the report was filed from the hospital. Apparently, although they ask a million questions about what happened and where, when and how, they do not however, make a police report. So I make the police report. The officer on the phone tells me a report was filed by the driver of the car. She did the right thing. My son did not. Another officer calls me back and in a more of a statement toned question, "I understand your son is my hit and run suspect." Me: "Umm, yes, I guess so." Thinking to myself, "Hit and run suspect? Really?" The officer and I talk briefly, where I explain to him that my son is mentally disabled so although he is 17 and almost an adult, he really isn't responsible enough to be held accountable for his decision to leave the scene of the crime. The officer asks to speak to him and so I put him on the phone. They talk for a short while and I can sort of overhear the conversation. They discussed my son's injuries and the damages to my son's belongings and damages to the car that he ran into. Then they discussed the legalities involving getting a traffic ticket for illegally crossing the road vs. the illegality of leaving the scene of a crime. My son seems to understand, explains he was scared and did not know about not leaving being a crime. At this point my son gives me back the phone and I ask the officer, "Is he in trouble?" The officer was very nice, and seemed understanding, he told me, "No, I'm not filing any charges against him." I am relieved, and we talk for a little longer, exchange pleasantries, he gives me the record number for the report and we say goodbye.
I would just like to say that I really appreciate the understanding of everyone involved. The driver of the car was more worried about my son, than the damages to her vehicle, the hospital staff and the local police department officers were all understanding and non-judgemental throughout the whole thing. It's been a long couple of days and to top it off, this is not my son's first, and probably not his last, encounter with a moving vehicle. I swear he will be the death of me.

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