She's on the interstate, I-65, and a guy hits the brakes so as not to hit a dog. Sister Girl, who is on the phone with me at that moment, hits her brakes, and I hear her say, "Wow, I almost got in a really bad accident there--" and then I hear some noise, some distortion (her voice kind of sounds like it's far away), and the phone goes dead. I didn't know where she was at the time, so I thought it was yet another case of bad cell phone reception; I can hardly get through a phone call around here without one or the other of us, whoever I'm talking to, saying "Let me call you back in a minute." So I go on my merry way looking up midnight Harry Potter tickets for her and I figure that she'll call me back.
A few minutes pass. She calls me back. "Lauren," she says, "I've been in a really bad wreck." She sounds a little shaky, but stoic. Honestly, Sister Girl has really shit luck on the road--she's always getting into accidents that aren't even her fault. That said, she has really good luck at surviving said accidents, if y'all remember Smashup 2006 and her run-in with Mr. Magoo (not to mention Dr. Homewrecker and Rocky Brazil); she generally walks away with bruises and, at most, a knock on the head. Meanwhile, I should have been righteously creeped out, and would have been, if I'd understood what I was hearing at the time.
Back to the accident: she hit her brakes and was l33t enough to stop in time and not hit the first guy. But the guy behind her doesn't hit his brakes soon enough, or he was following too closely, and he rear-ends her. This is what I heard over the phone--apparently her phone was knocked out of her hand. She says she screamed, but I didn't hear that. I haven't gotten a play-by-play from her yet, so this doesn't entirely make sense to me, but apparently she crossed a median at some point, and spinning may have been involved. If she hadn't been completely stopped, the momentum of her car moving added to the momentum of the other guy's would have apparently shoved her into traffic, and she'd probably be dead now (I imagine some cheerful police officer told her this). She says she's "kind of sore," and she hit her head, but she's mostly okay. Also, when she got out of the car, she stepped into a bed of swarming red ants. As for the car itself: "How bad is it?" I ask. She's deeply attached to her car ("Mookie"). "The back of the car... is not the back of car anymore," she says.
Here's what we're probably going to end up suing over, no lie: during the impact (again, I don't quite know the logistics of it), the driver's seat fell, or was thrown, into the back seat. Apparently cars crunch up and accordion on purpose so as to absorb the impact, but Driver Seat Detachment is not a safety feature. In fact, it rendered the seatbelt completely useless (it wasn't holding her in place against anything at that point, obviously), and she was thrown around the car. This may actually be how she hit her head, I don't know. All I know is that my mother was already weighing various lawyer options within an hour of the accident. Today, Tomorrow, Toyota.
Meanwhile, the rest of the car is totaled, and not like last time when it was kind of totaled and then they fixed it--really totaled, in that there's not even a trunk there now. If you were driving on I-65 outside Birmingham earlier today and you saw school papers and loose yearbook pages littered across the road? That was my sister's accident. Apparently the yearbook exploded on impact (who knew it was the least stable object in the car? Even the driver's seat is all like, "Look, I just fell over "). She keeps a lot of school stuff in her trunk and/or backseat, and it's pretty much all gone or ruined--her textbooks, her Culinard recipe notes, her CDs, gone. "I had four pairs of shoes in there," she said, "and I think I got most of those." Her best friend drove up and helped her pick up what she could--apparently a number of bystanders helped as well--but there wasn't much left to recover. Best Friend then drove Sister Girl back down to the UAB ER, since Sister Girl was coming back from Decatur, and our parents met her there. And thus began the long wait in ER Purgatory. Everyone's finally home now, fast-food-fed, and Sister Girl's high on pharmaceuticals. Oh, and her glasses broke.
ETA: I have more details now. The guy hit her at a slight angle, so she spun out into a ditch in the median nose-first, and yet her airbags didn't deploy. She's really going to enjoy that condo Toyota's going to have to buy her. She was driving a Camry, by the way. I've seen the pictures now, and that thing is mangled.