Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of Neil's accident. A little over a month ago we finally got up the courage to ask the police department for pictures of the accident scene. It took awhile to get the okay, but we picked them up yesterday and finally got some questions answered about what happened that night. Of course there are some things we'll never know...
Seeing these pictures was difficult, as you could imagine. We didn't want to relive those moments or picture Neil in that horrific scene, but in a way it helps us appreciate the gift of his life. It's hard to see how any one could have lived through this crash. We will be ever grateful for his quick-thinking friend and devoted police and rescue workers.
We already knew the basics: Neil and a friend were coming home from a concert and were about three miles from our house. It was about 11:30 PM. Neil had not been drinking. (That was important to me.)
Below you will see how badly damaged the car was. I didn't include the more gruesome shots, but we were able to see that the driver's side door had to be removed to get Neil out. Also, his seat belt was cut off. We know that an ambulance took him a mile or so to the county airport where a life flight helicopter took him to the hospital.
The next day, an investigative team came out to take pictures and measurements. Through studying the skid marks on the road they were able to piece together what happened to the car. It appears as Neil began to approach a place in the road where it rose then curved sharply, he came close to the middle line and perhaps over corrected a bit to the right. Around the curve he must have felt his right tire hit the soft shoulder and panicked because there was an icy river a few feet away. He then swung the wheel to the left and lost complete control as the car spun around, hit a tree, and bounced off. The skids show that he was braking all the while, so I'm assuming he was driving too fast.
I'll tell you, this is a very lucky boy we have here. And believe me, we tell him we love him everyday!