My Car Accident

December 29th, 2022 6 min read

Kent standing by a wrecked Tesla model 3 in a junkyard. It's completely crushed.
Kent standing by a wrecked Tesla model 3 in a junkyard. It's completely crushed.
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I was involved in a very bad car accident at the end of January 2022. Here's the story.

I had just dropped my son off at a birthday party and was on my way home when I stopped at a four-way stop, saw a car opposite the stop sign, checked my left and my right, then proceeded through the stop sign. As I was going through, I checked my left again and saw headlights coming fast. I had less than half a second before impact. I remember clearly that my thought was "oh great" as in "this is going to be such an annoyance." Had I known how fast and big the truck was at the time I may have thought "I'm going to die."

Night-time ariel view of a car accident at a four way stop. Arrows point to the point of impact in the middle of an intersection and where the vehicles ended up over 75 feet away

Night-time ariel view of a car accident showing a truck that had gone through the entire length of a fence. Debris is everywhere

A mangled Dodge Ram 2500 truck up-side-down. It's completely crushed and parts of the truck are strewn about.

A destroyed Tesla model 3 with firefighters around helping to extract Kent who is covered in a white sheet. An arrow is pointed at Kent with the words: That "ghost" is me, covered by a blanket to protect my eyes and head.

The Dodge Ram 2500 truck hit me at 80 miles an hour. We ended up 75 feet away from the point of impact. The truck rolled several times straight through the entire length of a fence. I spun 180° (not a chance in the world you're flipping an electric vehicle with that huge battery in the bottom). The first thing I remember after impact was spitting pieces of my two front teeth out. I remember feeling really annoyed about that.

I was pinned in the car for 40 minutes. I was conscious the entire time. Several people witnessed what happened and came to check on me. They told me I should probably not move (I had been trying to get out without considering the fact that I might do further injury to myself... I couldn't get out anyway). I had one of them call my wife to let her know what happened. She met me at the hospital later. Emergency responders arrived within minutes. They had to cut the roof off the car and cut off my door to get me out. I was given an IV to keep me hydrated and warm. I remember the ride in the ambulance when they told me I had broken my collarbone which really bummed me out.

Kent in a hospital bed with broken front teeth and a bruise on his left collar bone

Kent's left wrist with cuts and glue covering a cut

Kent's left knuckle with a small piece of glass which came out of a cut of his knuckle

I broke both my front teeth on the air bag. I broke my left clavicle on the seat belt. The dashboard smashed my foot for 40 minutes while I was extracted from the vehicle which caused damage to my right ankle. A piece of glass damaged my nerves in my left wrist. We were pulling glass out of my scalp, hair, and hands days later. I had surgery on my clavicle to put a plate in it which damaged the nerves. It took three days before my teeth could be operated on. During that time I experienced extreme pain eating and drinking. I finally had surgery on my teeth to put crowns on them (one got a root canal).

The guy driving the truck was not under the influence of anything. He was not distracted (he was doing 80 mph in a 35 mph speed limit). He was just driving recklessly (or should that be wreck-fully?). He somehow got out of the vehicle and ran. He was caught a few blocks down and taken to the hospital to treat minor injuries before going to jail.

I went to a chiropractor for a few weeks to help with my neck, back, and foot. I went to a physical therapist for a few weeks to help my shoulder and foot recover. After several weeks of hoping I could join back in the games, I eventually had to quit my indoor soccer team due to the pain in my ankle. I did manage to get back to snowboarding a bit before the season was over though.

After a few months I was able to start up soccer again without too much trouble. My teeth recovery is extremely slow. Even now almost a year later, I still can't bite down on food much harder than a hamburger. Improvement there is happening, but it's excruciatingly slow.

Just a few weeks ago, I had another surgery to remove the plate in my clavicle.

Kent in a hospital bed with a green clavicle plate and nine screws

What little recovery my nerves had experienced was completely wiped out by the second surgery. I'm still recovering from that.

I'm still experiencing some pain in my shoulder, wrist, teeth, and ankle. I'm still not able to do a lot of things I used to be able to do. I can't give my kids piggy back rides without feeling pain. In certain positions, my ankle still hurts. My son keeps checking that he's not snuggling with me on the hurt shoulder side 😭.

Despite all this. I'm still alive. Two people who witnessed the accident said they thought I was dead. I was told repeatedly by emergency and medical personnel that I was lucky to be alive. I'm so grateful to be alive. I have a wife and four kids. We've had wonderful experiences together since the accident that would be tragic to miss and I look forward to many years on this earth with them. I'm convinced that I was protected by God for a reason.

And on top of all that, if it weren't for the accident, I wouldn't have been able to make this awesome kif!

I'm still recovering. I expect things to improve slowly over time. Whatever happens, I'm grateful to be alive. Thank you to everyone who sent me messages of support and things to help me recover.

I've still got lots to do, so I'm grateful to be given the chance to keep at it.

Kent C. Dodds
Written by Kent C. Dodds

Kent C. Dodds is a JavaScript software engineer and teacher. Kent's taught hundreds of thousands of people how to make the world a better place with quality software development tools and practices. He lives with his wife and four kids in Utah.

Learn more about Kent

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