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TIFU by traumatizing myself for life. Please, I beg of each and every one of you, wear your seat belt. Discover 2022

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TIFU by traumatizing myself for life. Please, I beg of each and every one of you, wear your seat belt. Discover 2022
TIFU by traumatizing myself for life. Please, I beg of each and every one of you, wear your seat belt. Discover 2022 1

TIFU by traumatizing myself for life. Please, I beg of each and every one of you, wear your seat belt. Still 2022

3 days ago, I was driving myself, my wife, my 5yo son, my 3yo daughter, and my newborn daughter home from Target. It was late, about 9 PM, my children were thankfully all asleep in their carseats.

We were coming up to a red light when the car in front of us tried to run a late yellow turning red. It felt like it happened in slow motion… They were t-boned by a car going across. They were in a small sedan. A truck hit them. They rolled must’ve been three times before the car settled upside down, horn blaring. The driver of the truck, which was not even damaged, got out and ran to the driver side window. They immediately ran away and were heaved over their knees by their truck. My wife and I were dumbstruck. I’m an ex EMT and felt compelled to assist. I turned on my hazards, told my wife to keep the kids safe, and ran to the car. I regret it so much.

Their windows were shattered. I crouched down to see who was in the car through the driver’s window… That’s when I saw a face hanging down. Just a face. Detached from the skull. Hanging off of this poor man’s face. A flap of the face, completely removed. He was still conscious, looked right at me. Just muscle on skull and bulging eyes without a face. He was heaving back and forth, breathing erratically and in complete shock. He tried to form words but without lips they didn’t make sense. His guttural sounds sounded like, “Help me.” I couldn’t move. I’ve seen everything under the sun as an EMT, or so I thought, but never this.

I told him to stay still. I checked him for further injuries. As far as I could tell, he was generally bruised and battered but otherwise in one piece. I told him help was on the way. There were sirens in the distance. He was trying to talk to me. It sounded like, “My phone.” I tried to reach in to his pockets and I cut myself quite badly on my arm from the broken window. I couldn’t find anything in his pockets. It likely fell into the downside portion of the car. He grunted and muttered. He looked me in the eye and then his eyes went cold. I’ve seen it enough. Dead. I backed away and sat on the ground. I felt useless. I feel like a failed him. My experience as an EMT taught me that sometimes there’s nothing to do but comfort a person in their last moments. All I feel like I did was frighten him further. Make him feel like there was no hope. He wanted his phone, for me to call or text someone his final words. But I couldn’t find it. And as the lights approached and paramedics surrounded me, all I could mutter out between sobs was that he was gone and I couldn’t help him. I was helped to the back of an ambulance and given a blanket and a water bottle. I couldn’t drink it. I couldn’t feel warm. I felt so cold. I still feel so cold. I was the last thing that man saw and I did nothing for him but promise him nothings.

I’ve had vivid nightmares every night. My wife has scheduled trauma therapy for me starting tomorrow. One thing I must mention is he wasn’t wearing a seat belt. Please wear your seat belts. For the love of God or whatever you do or don’t believe in, wear your seat belts. Please..

TL;DR I’m an ex EMT and felt obliged to help an injured driver. I will regret what I saw for the rest of my life. WEAR. YOUR. SEAT. BELT.

Thank you everyone who has responded. Your words of comfort, advice, and experiences have genuinely helped me more than I can express. I want to reach out to each of you, I tried to start a reply, but it feels like the words won’t come out. I will respond to each of you in time. You deserve that.

To those who messaged me asking for more details. I will share… He was not hanging from his seat belt. His seat belt would have saved him. It would’ve kept him from impacting the front windshield and would’ve held him upright away from the roof of the car and broken glass. Those asking how his face was injured… I suspect the front windshield, though only God knows. I don’t feel right sharing more. I think I said too much already. What I will say, is to wear your seat belt. Even on a 4 minute drive… You never know. You just never know.

To those who messaged me asking me why I shared here and not to a therapist. I have trauma therapy scheduled tomorrow morning. I have been granted two weeks leave from my work and I am very grateful for it. I posted here after an old EMT friend of mine recommended it as way of venting and receiving support. I’ve used Reddit before but now know it can be so much more meaningful than entertainment. You are all very wonderful people and I thank you sincerely and deeply. I wish you all wellness, health, and safety. Please wear your seat belts, pay attention, stop at yellows, and drive defensively. God bless you all.

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