A small addition to the story of my daughter’s accident and the miracles that came later. The following is the official statement given by the first person to arrive on the scene. The fact that this man was at this very spot on that night, is another miracle. The kids who were in the car with my daughter said that they didn’t know her last name. It just so happened that when this man saw my daughter, he knew who she was, because he knew her father. We may never have known what happened to her if not for his being there, and recognizing her. Here is his statement. I have forgiven, but the anger still boils up in me when reading what this man reported of how these two punks were ready to leave my daughter, and walk away after the accident.
Robert W. Harding’s statement from my car accident
On the evening of the accident 11-19-01 I was working alone at my shop on Knox Trail Rd in Acton. I had the overhead door open and it was about 8:40 pm. The next thing, I heard a car traveling out of the park on Knox Trail Rd. The engine was racing and I could hear the deceleration and i could tell the car was traveling at a high rate of speed as it went past my driveway toward the accident corner. The corner where the accident happened is located about 50 yards beyond my driveway.
I then heard a loud crash. I did not hear the screech of braking tires before hearing the impact with the rock. I did not witness the crash. I knew from hearing the car that it was not going to make the curve. I stopped what I was doing (working on a car) turned toward the opened door and listened to the crash. I ran to the end of the parking lot and I was about 20 yards from the scene. I could see the car, smoke coming from the car and people at the scene.
The two people I observed were the driver and a male passenger. I was the first person at the scene. I did not know who was the driver or passenger until the one person identified himself as the driver. The car was on its four tires but had extensive body damage. I didn’t know there was another passenger in the car.
As I approached the scene, I yelled “is everyone alright?” Someone responded, “do you have a car? I need a ride out of here.” My response again was “is everyone alright?” This same person (I assumed it was the driver) said “please sir, I need a ride.” These two individuals were walking up the road away from the scene. I said “this is the last time, is everyone alright because I am going to call 911” One of the two responded “don’t call 911.” As soon as he said don’t call 911 I walked toward the car.
When I got up over the knoll and was about 50 feet away when one of them said “Christina is in the back.” Both were walking back to the car at that point when they saw me. I approached the car and saw Christina in the back seat. She was behind the driver. She was unconscious with her eyes open. She was slumped to the left side (drivers side). I don’t know whether she was wearing a seat belt. Her body was limp. Although it was dark inside the car, a street light illuminated the scene and it was like twilight. I had no problem seeing anything.
I told the two men not to touch the passenger in the back, and that i was going to call 911 at my shop. One of the men said he had a cell phone. It was the same individual who later identified himself as the driver. I said “call 911” and he said he couldn’t because he lost his phone in the accident. He then said “I can’t believe I totaled my fucking car.” I then ran back and called 911. I reported the accident and returned to the scene.
When i returned to the scene, Christina was lying outside the vehicle on the ground. I said “What part of don’t touch her don’t you get?” The driver said “I couldn’t just leave her there.” I said to the passenger (heavy-set kid) “give me your coat.” And “do you have anything else to keep her warm?” At about the same time, I realize the driver is talking on the cell phone to his mother. He said “get your fucking ass down here now! I totaled my car.” He then began to give directions. He also identified the person he was talking to as “ma”.
I then told the driver to find something warm to put around her. He said “hey man, I was in an accident last year and almost died. I had brain damage, give me a fucking break.” He then started to tell me he was in a coma but I said “it’s not about you, it’s about her.” The driver was not concerned with the condition of Christina, but more about his car, and what was going to happen to him because he got in another accident. Christina was still out of it.
At this time, I put my hands on her chest and the other hand on her neck to feel her pulse. She had a pulse on her neck and I could feel her chest rising. I had the passenger kneel next to Christina. And he took over for me. The driver was still talking to someone on the cell phone. I don’t know who because his mother showed up at the scene a couple of minutes later. The police arrived first at the scene, followed by the fire and rescue. As soon as they arrived, EMT’s removed her shoes, squeezed her toes and called out her name. There was no response. They immediately began treating her and removed her from the scene.
While standing next to the police officer about to return his flashlight, the driver’s mother came up to the officer. She identified herself as the drivers mother. She said “I’ll sign anything that I need to to stop him from driving. I don’t ever want him to drive again. He has brain damage from a prior accident. If he keeps driving he is going to kill himself or someone else.” I believe the driver was talking to another officer.
Shortly there after, I left. I was interviewed later that night by Officer Silva at my shop.
I have read that above pages and am giving this statement to the best of my knowledge and under no duress or promise.
Robert W. Harding
I thank God every day that this man was there that night.