Nissa needed the car that night, so I had asked Alex for a ride back to Richmond after practice. He needed to drop Brian off at the new place out by the Coliseum so Brian could practice with his other band, but said he would return to Richmond that night because he had received some mail from the IRS that he wanted to check out. After dropping off Brian, we headed back on 880. There wasn't anything remarkable about the drive. We talked a little, but were both fairly tired after practice. I was to help pack that night and wake up early for a camping trip with friends the next day, so I was thinking about that. I remember the sound of the impact very well. I don't believe either of us saw it coming. It happened so suddenly that I did not even realize what had happened until we started to slide sideways. Neither Alex nor I said or did anything. Before Alex could react, we were completely sideways. I remember the truck tilting and hitting the pavement. There is a scraping sound and sparks. That is when I blacked out.
I came to with my eyes still closed. I remember screaming for help in the darkness because I could not at first move my head. I slowly opened my eyes and tried to move. I was scared and unsure of what was happening. Only then did I realize where I was, and that I could not move because the seat belt still held me down. I struggled to reach the buckle and managed to remove the belt. We were sideways, somewhere out of traffic. I saw Alex. His eyes were closed. I called for help. Alex moved his head and made a noise as he attempted to gasp for breath. I realized that I could not do anything for him. I called for help again, but understood that either no one was there, or no one could hear me. The windshield had broken, and I thought that I could slide out to find assistance. As I began to work my way out, I noticed that my legs were in incredible pain. Broken glass was everywhere, but I needed to get outside. Finally, I was on the pavement. I tried to stand, but could not. I screamed for help. Shortly, a woman rushed up to me. She explained that she was an EMT that has just happened to be driving behind us. She asked where it hurt and did my best to comfort me. I told her about Alex. She said her friend, also an EMT was helping him. I asked her to call Nissa. She said there would time for that later. I heard her friend say that she needed gloves and asking where the ambulance was. It was very cold there on the road. I told her that I did not have insurance. She said not to worry. I asked about Alex. She told me they were going to help him.
When the ambulance arrived, things got somewhat chaotic. There were questions and people running around. The EMT helping me explained what was happening. I heard her friend explain to someone what was happening with Alex. They began to cut me out of my clothes. I remember my pants were sticking to the wound on my leg. My whole body was shaking and in pain. They put me on a stretcher and held my head still. I asked about Alex. They said they were helping him. I remember being lifted into the ambulance and seeing a swarm of people around the truck. They put an oxygen mask on me and shut the doors.
I did not hear about Alex until I was in the trauma ward. The CHP officer stood over me and told me what had happened. Covered in tubes and on anesthetic, I did not have time to really take in what was going on. I wish I had said something to Alex so that he knew I was there. I wish I could have done more
a self portrait I sketched in rehab. I think it captures fairly well the unkempt madman look I had cultivated during my stay there.
Archiving all of these memories
2 years ago