My Worst Nightmare: My Son Was Hit By a Car

Originally posted Sept. 5, 2008

My son was hit by a car.

My worst nightmare.

The car, driven by a 91-year-old, hit his left side as he ran into the street after a tennis ball. I’d been standing 30 feet away with the cable guy staring up at a phone wire on one side of our new house, and my husband was nearby vacuuming out the car near where Holly played. She saw the whole thing. I must have heard the impact because I whipped my head around just in time to see my firstborn fly over the hood of our neighbor’s Buick. Noah landed several feet away on his back, then hit his head and immediately beganto scream.

Oddly, he was still wearing his bicycle helmet, though he’d been off his bike for a few minutes already. He never leaves his helmet on after getting off his bike.

I rushed to his side and yelled for the cable guy to call 911. Noah wanted to get up but I insisted that he lay flat, just in case he had any spinal cord or internal injuries. A rush of adrenaline can mask them at first. The Batavia EMS folks were fabulous, and even quickly started an IV that never even caused a bruise.

When the ER doctor asked if Noah had become airborne during the accident, I said yes.

“Cool,” Noah grinned, otherwise immobile from the neck brace and backboard to which he was still restrained.

Several X-rays and exams later it turns out he’s just fine, though a little banged up. Each day he notices another twinge of pain somewhere. His neck, his knee. He’ll be sore for a while.

But it could have been worse. Much worse. I still have a hard time thinking about it, three weeks later.

When I asked if he’dchecked for cars before running after the ball, Noah sheepishly admitted he hadn’t. Sure, that’d been my mantra since we moved in two months earlier, but some lessons are hard to come by.

As for the driver’s hand in this near-tragedy? Quite possibly she was slow to react, and I’ll follow up to make sure all’s well there, but I think she and Noah share equally in the responsibility. I think we all learned a few lessons that day.

Two days after Noah sailed over the hood of that car he flipped again – this time, off the diving platform at the Batavia’s Hall Quarry beach, the warm sun shining brightly above him.

My lucky, lucky boy.

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