Teresa and Patrick Have a Bad Car Wreck
June 12, 2002
Camarillo California



Teresa and Patrick were returning from their classes at the University of California at Santa Barbara on June 12, 2002.  Patrick was driving Teresa's '92 Toyota Corolla and were apparently stopped in heavy traffic on a two-lane segment of Highway 118 in Camarillo California.  We understand that they were hit from behind.  As of today, we have not seen the accident report so it is not clear what happened...  Teresa remembers seeing perhaps four cars badly wrecked.  We believe that Teresa and Patrick were victims in this collision...

(update – the car behind Teresa was driven by an unlicensed driver who slammed into them at 55-mph.  The car behind that car followed in at the same speed.  The Toyota was driven into a vehicle being towed on a trailer which drove that vehicle into the tow vehicle – no licensees, no insurance)

Both were hurt and transported to the
Saint Johns Hospital in Camarillo for stitches, ankle xrays, and CAT scans.  Each was discharged later in the evening.

Toyota is a tough little car and saved their lives in this devastating wreck...  My compliments to the engineers and assembly line workers that built the Toyota Corolla.

So how bad was it???  See for yourself.



Teresa is able to pose with the wrecked car - That's a miracle.  Notice how the trunk is totally mashed into the cabin of the car.  The rear wheel in this picture is mashed into the front of the wheel well.  The impact must have been devastating.  Both Patrick and Teresa were unconscious and pulled from the vehicle.  Teresa remembers coming-to first as one of the witnesses pulled her from the car.  Her ankle was badly twisted and she could not walk.  The witness carried her to a place where she could lean on another car and watch the terror unfold.



The front view is scary as I can only imagine the pounding that Teresa and Patrick took as they were being hammered by the other cars in the wreck.  Notice how the cabin was beginning to fail as the roof line is buckled.  Neither Patrick or Teresa remember anything of the collision or the next few minutes.  Teresa may have been out cold for perhaps three or four minutes and Patrick for as long as 15-minutes.



This picture really brings home the violence that must have been...  notice the rip in the fender above the tire... where is the wheel cover???



The front looks as bad as the back.  Teresa thinks there was a pick-up truck in front of them which must have been hit by the Toyota moving forward from the collision.  Teresa also seems to remember that the pick-up was actually being towed by another pick-up truck.  I expect that the California Highway Patrol report will make sense of what happened.



Notice how the trunk is completely collapsed.  All that energy was blasted right into Patrick's body.  Apparently Patrick became mangled into the steering wheel and perhaps hit his head hard on the rear view mirror.  Remember, Patrick is unconscious during all this time while Teresa looks on from a few feet away.  Notice how the Jaws of Life had to be used to cut the door pillar out to make way to remove Patrick.  Yes, that’s the missing rear door thrown into the back of the car.  Teresa tells the story that watching Patrick being rescued was the most troubling and dramatic moments of the event.  Patrick was still unconscious and bleeding profusely from a deep cut on the back of his head.  I can not imagine the pain of watching a loved-one slumped over, tangled in wreckage, bleeding badly while being cut out of the car.  My personal thank-you to the emergency response crew that saved their lives.



Here is a close-up view of the crushed trunk.  We managed to pull some things out like tools and cleaning supplies...  Other items like the toaster oven (to the right) and the noodles were beyond salvage.  The emergency crew was able to grab their overnight bags before being taken away in the ambulance.  Having the bags gave them more comfort when they were alone at the hospital.



As you can see, Teresa is able to smile about the event...  We are so lucky to still have Teresa and Patrick here with us!