Editor: On Dec. 28, my husband and I were heading to the Dulles Marriott the night before an early flight to Mexico and a long-anticipated family reunion. In between Hamilton and Leesburg on the Rt. 7 bypass, someone wanting to cross over the east-bound lanes to enter a subdivision to our right didn’t yield and crossed over right in front of us. I can remember suddenly seeing a car in our front windshield, then hearing the frightening sound of our two cars crashing, followed by airbags deploying, then our car veering off the road to the right, in and out of a ditch and landing upright.
My husband and I are senior citizens, and this was our first accident. To say we were frightened is an understatement. We were both miraculously able to get out of the car, but we couldn’t see each other from the opposite sides of the vehicle. I was lying in the ditch shouting out to Tom if he was OK; and he was doing the same to me.
This is all leading up to how beyond grateful we are to first responders in general, and to our first responders in particular. Because I was so shaken, I don’t remember how many fire engines appeared or where they came from. I do know that two ambulances arrived, at least one of which was from the Purcellville Fire and Rescue Squad. I remember kind faces asking me if I was all right and where I hurt. Eventually, I was put on a stretcher and carried into the ambulance. Tom went to the hospital in the same ambulance, only he was sitting.
What a small world it is, as one of our extraordinary paramedics was David Schwartz, a high school classmate of our middle daughter. He couldn’t have been more competent, compassionate or reassuring. Thank you so much, David. I wish I could remember the name of the other paramedic in our ambulance, but you know who you are, and I thank you, too, from the bottom of my heart.
How blessed we were. Our car was totaled, but after four hours in the emergency room having a variety of tests done and being thoroughly examined, we were discharged and took a cab to the Dulles Marriott. We were able to continue on our way and had the most magical vacation our family has ever had. Tom and I were both a little battered and bruised; but there were no complaints from us.
Bobbie Wilkinson, Hamilton