Formerly "Neil Stone Updates"

Friday, January 22, 2010

Some Answers

WARNING: I've included some pictures at the bottom of this post that you may not want to see. Just letting you know before you get down there.




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!



The following is a video that Eric put together of all the still shots of the police team's reenactment with some PVC pipe to represent the car. He shows it four times at different speeds.


video

10 comments:

Molly said...

Wow, those are amazing pictures. Quite incredible indeed - it is a miracle that Neil is here with you today. I am fascinated by pictures like these, thanks for posting. The video reenactment was interesting...

Meghan, Carson and the Kiddos said...

that is incredible....we are so lucky to have Neil! It's hard to believe that he made it through that.

Anonymous said...

Oh, my goodness. That really clarifies the reality of that night. Thank you Eric for creating that video, and thank you Lori for including the pictures of the car. Neil is certainly a miracle man. We are so glad he survived that terrible crash and is here to be an inspiration to us all. - Michelle Tobian

Meredith said...

Watching it get faster and faster each time it just really puts into perspective how quickly accidents happen and how it could have happened to anyone. Neil is one lucky, blessed and well loved boy indeed. Thank you, Aunt Lori, Uncle Scott, Eric, Alison, and Neil, for sharing your incredible past year with all of us.

artie's Aunt Nancy said...

Having been on the scene that night, I can tell you the things that aren't shown in these pictures. Those not familiar with the road can't see that there is more field and stream than homes.....there was only one tree in front of one house and that house was only one of two for many miles. There was a couple home and actually outside their house to hear the accident and get to the boys quickly. There was cell service in that spot on a road that often does not have access to it. There were so many rescue workers, many of them volunteer, all of them caring......but mostly.....there was God's Grace.....there was the reality that as horrific as this was....it could have been so much worse. There was hope.....there was faith....and that changed everything. Praising God and thanking Him for mercy and grace.

nancy said...

I can tell you some of the things that aren't shown in these pictures. Those not familiar with the road can't see that there is more field and stream than homes.....there was only one tree in front of one house and that house was only one of two for many miles. There was a couple home and actually outside their house to hear the accident and get to the boys quickly. There was cell service in that spot on a road that often does not have access to it. There were so many rescue workers, many of them volunteer, all of them caring......but mostly.....there was God's Grace.....there was the reality that as horrific as this was....it could have been so much worse. There was hope.....there was faith....and that changed everything. Praising God and thanking Him for mercy and grace.

January 23, 2010 2:10 PM

HMStammler said...

Wow!! What a miracle!! Thank God for His Grace and for letting Neil live! Neil's story continues to inspire me; drive, desire and determination!! And, as a soon to be mother, Lori and Scott your courage and unwavering support for your sons also inspires me! May God bless you all and as always, thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed at Neil recovery. That night was very tragic. We worried and prayed for him and your family Constantly. We can still remember the sounds of that that night.. and the worry we felt. May God continually bless your beautiful son and your family.
The Neighbors

Anonymous said...

We were at home next door celebrating a late Christmas with a friend and heard Neil go by and heard the crash. I really doubt that Neil was speeding, since we can quite clearly hear a difference when those who do speed pass by. We are overrun with deer and other wildlife out here and we thought there was probably one of those deer/car incidents. We were the first to arrive on the scene, and Neil's friend had already called in the accident. There was nothing we could do for Neil and we were very relieved when there was a rapid response from the Bedminster police and EMTs. Once Neil was extracted, he was actually moved by the ambulance to the intersection of Burnt Mills Road and Rattlesnake Bridge Road (0.6 miles from the accident site) where he was picked up by the Medivac helicopter.

In the aftermath, I checked the car in case the boys had left any valuables that ought to be protected, and I was touched by how neat everything was. No wrappers, empty soda cans or loose papers. I was especially moved by the skateboard and pylons in the trunk. We knew immediately that these were good kids. And, we are thrilled that so many prayers have been answered in Neil's recovery.

Anonymous said...

I want to take a moment now to thank you SO much for keeping up with this blog so people like myself can be aware of how Neil is doing. Although Neil and I were never close in school, we did graduate together. I just want you to know that there are still people on the opposite end of the computer checking up on Neil! He is an absolute inspiration, and your writing jerks at my heart. I tell others with pride of his miraculous story. Thank you again, you're a strong woman and a wonderful blessing to all of us and your family!