Who else has had a terrifying, almost killed story?

Inspired by this thread:

I was wondering who else here has had either a similar, horrific incident (and keep at it Pat, I have a hero for the day!), or else has dodged death in a scary/dramatic or noteworthy way?

Me first.

I was 16, back in the mid-70’s and me and three friends were walking home late from a party only a few suburban blocks from where we all lived. T, R, D and myself were discussing the ass-pounding we were all going to get coming home at 2 am, when T offered us all to crash at his house. His mom and stepdad were the “cooler” more permissive ones that wouldn’t mind and his thought was that if were going to get hammered, at least let it be in the morning after we got some sleep.

D lived next to T, and passed. R and myself lived around the corner and a few houses down respectively, and we figured thanks, but we’ll face the music.

So, D goes in his house, T goes in his, R walks me to mine, then down to his house. No noise from the dad when I come in, but I know it’s not that easy.

5:30 am, Saturday morning, my bedroom door flies open. A plastic 5 gallon pail hits my floor, and the carwash mitt hits my face. I am reminded that I have four cars to wash, and it’s already 75 degrees. Gonna be a scorcher.

I eat a quick breakfast, thankfully no hangover this was before I discovered alcohol.

It’s pushing mid 80’s and muggy when I get outside and start soaping/washing cars. Midway through the second car, mom decides I have to mail a letter for her. I finish the car, walk to the corner, turn the corner and holy crap, every police car in my town, two abulances, and a black ambulance type truck that says “Coroner” is parked in front of D, and T’s houses.

Next to the mailbox, I find D’s kid sister on the curb, bawling her eyes out.

She’s incapable of even trying to explain and all I get out of her is ‘they’re all dead’.

By this time, I see the fuss is at T’s house, and I catch D’s father coming out of the house, accompanied by some cops and walk back to his own house. I run past the cars there and just run in the door at D’s house and catch D and his dad standing and just hanging on to each other.

What happened (as we learmed days later) is a friend of the stepdad was visiting that night. T’s kid sister had a friend over for a sleepover. After T got home, and mom went to bed downstairs, the stepdad and friend opened the Jack and started pouring down shots. Some sort of thing happened between them that resulted in the friend going outside to “cool off”. In the garage he finds an axe, comes back in the house and smacks stepdad while his back was turned at the kitchen table.

Then into T’s room, and does the same to my friend in his sleep. Then the kid sister and her friend. Mom either heard noise downstairs, or woke when he showed up at the bedroom door downstairs and she manages to get out her window to the neighbor’s across the street. Police were called, and they found the friend calmly finishing the Jack at the kitchen table next to his buddy’s body.

That happened when I was 16. I told my folks about how close I came to being there when I was 30. D told his dad only a year ago. R’s dad died 12 years ago and never knew.

Me, but I think I’ve told it already on the boards.

I’ll try and give the short story…

My buddy Blue Elk and I made arrangement to go to Mammoth just before Thanksgiving 2000. Got an excellent deal on ski-in/ski-out lodging, plus lift tickets and we were psyched to get our season started almost a month early.

We left Vegas about midnight and got to Mammoth shortly before 9am. Got our lift tickets, suited up, and headed for the slopes. No line at the lift, up we go, and we make our first run, noting that the slope is kind of icy still as it’s early in the day yet. Head up for the second run.

We get off the lift, and about 300 yards down I pass my buddy, feelin’ good. I go to check my speed and cut back the other way…

The next thing I know, I’m in excruciating pain, my helmet is off, my board is off, my goggles are off, I’m flat on my back and my buddy is SCREAMING his head off for help. Ski patrol comes, another, another. They put me in the coffin and one of them takes off down the hill with me in tow. I’m laying there, bouncing everytime we hit a small bump and I actually think “jeez, can’t this guy slow down?” before I realize that he’s trying to get me to the ambulance as fast as he can.

The ride, the emergency room, the rest of the day are all a blur. I remember parts of the day, but not the order that anything happened.

I’m told that I have a liver injury. The doctor tells me liver injuries are rated 1-5, with 1 being “a slight bruise”, and 5 being “you’re dead”. He says mine is about a 2, maybe a little more severe than that, but that (luckily) the liver will heal itself if I can just take care of myself for a few months.

Finally I let them give me some painkillers and I drift off to sleep. (Yes, I went almost 12 hours after the injury without a painkiller. I like drugs for recreation, but using them to stop pain isn’t always a good idea, especially if you aren’t sure what’s hurting.)

The next morning, when I wake up, my left knee is the size of a basketball and is killing me. An x-ray and MRI show that I’ve torn my MCL. Thankfully, the MCL does not require surgery to heal properly, all I have to do is stay off my feet for 3 months. <sigh> Not great news for an avid snowboarder/hiker/runner, but watcha gonna do.

After 5 miserable days in the hospital, mostly alone (Blue Elk went back to Vegas for Thanksgiving, as planned), I am checked out and spend one night in a hotel room, because Blue Elk fails to drive up to Mammoth to get me, and I know that I can no longer afford the hospital (no insurance, you see). That night was the most miserable night I have ever spent on earth. No drugs, no help, and I am almost out of my mind with pain and discomfort.

Blue Elk shows up the next morning, tho, and we get home to Vegas that evening (Saturday).

On Monday, I had an appointment with a doctor here in Vegas, set up for me by the fine folks at Mammoth Hospital. All my friends were working so I couldn’t find anyone to drive me across town to see this guy. I couldn’t bend my left leg at all with the enormous, full-length brace I was wearing, so I couldn’t even sit in my Blazer, let alone work the clutch. Thankfully, the Eldo’ is HUUUUUGE (1972, convertable) and I was able to get in. I drove myself to the doctors, shuffled (I could barely move at all and was supposed to be on bed-rest) my way to the door… and gaped in horror at the nearly 600 foot long corridor inside.

It took me almost 20 minutes to walk from the door to the doctors office, sweating and trembling. All I can think about is how I collapsed trying to walk up the handicap ramp in Mammoth Hospital to get my records on Saturday morning. Finally I reach the door and go in. Sixty more feet to the desk. Twenty feet back to a chair. Then a 25 minute wait. Then another hundred feet to the exam room.

Once I’m in an exam room, I don’t wait long before the doctor comes in. I hand over my MRIs, x-rays and all the pages and pages of medical records from Mammoth. He looks them all over and puts the MRI and x-ray into the lightpanel to see them and as he goes down the rows of images, I hear him whistle and cluck.

He then proceeds to inform me, and show me, that I did not have a small liver injury. My liver on the MRI was about 18cm long. I had sliced a 14cm gash all the way thru it. The doctor frankly tells me that if I had been his patient in Mammoth, I would still be there; he would not have allowed me to leave the hospital. I did not have a 2 out of 5, he says, I had a 4.5 out of 5.

I then drove myself to the grocery store, where it took me more than an hour to get milk, soda and parmesan cheese.

The injury happened Monday, November 21. I went back to work on December 20 (in a very limited, managerial capacity) and worked every day except Xmas and New Year’s until January 14. I was back on the slopes February 10 (very shaky and literally did not have enough gas for more than 4 hours).

The whole escapade reinforced, for me, my desire and my commitment to be prepared, mentally and physically, for the worst that life can throw at you.

I learned two things from it all, too.

#1. My great-grandfather used to say, and I still do, “I’d rather be lucky than good.” But what I learned is luck favors the prepared.

#2. I cannot be killed. Oh, sure, I can be beaten up pretty bad, even mangled. But if the whole damn mountain couldn’t kill me, nothing can. :smiley:


That was the short story? Here’s mine:

I was chased by a knife-wielding maniac in a Philadelphia apartment building, but I ran down the hall and locked myself in a storage closet till he got bored and left.

I almost got hit by a train, but that’s kind of a boring story. I was walking along some train tracks, which were in a kind of valley between two gentle hills–room on either side of the tracks, but enough cover to muffle noises. You’d be surprised how quiet this train was…it started as a little bit of clicking, which I thought was some insects, and then the engineer laid on the horn. I turned around and the big circular light was RIGHT THERE. The train had just rounded a bend in the tracks, and the shock nearly made me pass out right there. Luckily, I jumped off to the side before getting smushed. :eek:

I totalled my father’s car; I think I may have told the story elsewhere on the boards (This was a no-fault, essentially freak, accident).

Basically, there were about five ways I could have died during the event:

  1. If I had not skidded, and had smacked dead-on into the back of the shuttle bus.
  2. If I had not been wearing my seatbelt.
  3. If I had not caught the curb just so, bouncing back (into the shuttle bus) rather than over the edge and down onto the 5 freeway.
  4. If I had not been hit by the car going the other way after doing a 360 after hitting the shuttle bus, thereby going over the OTHER edge and down onto the 5 freeway.
  5. If I had been driving my mother’s brand new car (which I almost was that day). I told the cop that if I had been, he would have found me down on the freeway playing in traffic so that I was damn sure I was hurt. I’m sure he thought I was kidding. I wasn’t.

Eve, you’ve got to tell the whole story!

Snowboarder Bo, what happened to cause your injury? Did you wipe out, hit something, be run into…?

Me, too.

I may have told this story before.

Six years old and I’m sitting (rather than standing as my father told me to) on the back of an empty hay wagon, hanging on to the cross bar. My father’s driving the Int’l Harvester tractor. We hit a bump, I fly off and barely grab the tow bar. I’m dragged crying and screaming for about a 100 feet, when I rememeber my Dad turning around and slamming the clutch and brakes. I was uninjured (while being dragged across gravel.) My father told me years later that the terror he had just about killed him on the spot. Had I slipped, I would have been 1) run over by the tires, or 2) wrapped around the axle. :eek:

After it had been snowing for a week in Seattle back in 89, my girlfriend picked me up from the nursing home where I worked in her dad’s Buick. Now we had been having snow on and off for more that a week so I had been doing double shifts, due to no shows. That day was payday, so I’m looking at this massive check. We’re talking about some of the things we’re going to do, while I periodically look at the paycheck check I’m holding.

I look up and see a car a couple of cars ahead of me hit black ice and go into a skid, at a bend in the road. Then the car ahead, I start to say; “Take your foot… When we began sliding. Now his car is a 1968 Buick GS. So unlike the other cars that went way out of control, the car slides in the direction of the driver’s side and the back end wedges itself on a snow bank.

My girlfriend freaks. She jumps out of the car yelling here Dad is going to kill her. I jump out of the car to calm her down telling her I’ll push the car, you drive. I don’t know what made me look up. But I do and see the exhaust pipes of an approaching Semi (Lorry for you Brits). I yell run. Jana falls right in front of the car. I run to help but by the time I get there she’s gotten up and runs past me. I start running after her.

The rest of this was related to me. I didn’t make it. The Semi slammed into the Buick with the rear of the Tractor portion flinging the car around where it slammed into my fleeing rear. I was tossed some dozens of yards into the wood-line. Meanwhile the car has completed a 180 when the back wheels of the trailer demolishes what’s left of the Buick, the Semi comes to rest across the road where it also took out a telephone pole.

I came to with my girlfriend standing over me screaming my name. I got up, in no pain whatsoever. We give our reports to the police; I refuse medical treatment. Until later when I got home. I ended up going to the hospital with excrutiating back pain. As I recall that lasted the better part of a month. I’m still amazed that I’m not in a wheelchair.
I have more. But i’ll let others get a say. My Mom says I can’t die “Heaven don’t want you and Hell’s afraid you’ll take over”.

The short version:

I am walking home from class one day at college and hear some loud noises. When I got investigate I see a woman sitting under a bush. I nod at her. She nods at me. I realize she has a rifle (Mauser) in her hand and that she has been shooting people!

I charge the 20’ to her as she levels the rifle at my chest. I grab the rifle away and she swings a hunting knife at me twice, which I dodge. On one followthrough she stabs her own leg and falls to the ground.

I took away the weapons and told people to call the police and then came back to tend her wound, but as I set the rifle down I noticed the chamber was open and there was a round in it. She had been reloading and forgotten to close the bolt before aiming at my chest and pulling the trigger.

Those of you who’ve said “I told it earlier,” please post your story again. Please? Don’t make me go dig it up. Story corpses are a bad, bad thing.

And Eve, we need more detail.

At least you learned your lesson about listening to your friends say “All the cool girls date Ira Einhorn!”

Yeah. Riding shotgun in a car when I was 12. Got broadsided while making a left turn; a massive Oldsmobile smashed in the passenger side of the car. They were going about 70. Our car spun about six times and somehow ended up on the side of the road, up over the curb. I was pretty much fine other than my nerves; the medics who were on the scene assured my father that had I not been wearing a seatbelt, I’d be dead.

When I was 17 my friends and I were oh so cleverly hanging out in a half-built house. I didn’t realize the foundation was still open and walked right into it. I reflexively caught the edge (I have no idea how) and climbed out. When I looked down I saw the long steel rods sticking up that would have impaled me had I fallen. I have no idea whether that would have killed me, maimed me, or what. I had the most intense adrenaline rush of my life after that.

Here’s my story. It’s a lot lamer than most of these, but hey.

First, the cast:
ME: Your friend, everybody’s favourite oracular vegetable.
RASTA TORTOISE: A friend of mine who’s too funny for his own good.
OTHER DUDE: Minor character in this story, much more major character in the rest of my life.

Then, the story:

ME: drinks water
tilts head back to get last gulp from the bottle
pours water in nose
RASTA TORTOISE: laughs Nice aim, there.
ME: laughs realises I am laughing while drinking, stops
moment of confusion
the sudden and very unpleasant realisation that my lungs are empty and there is water between them and the air
strangled noises as I attempt to rectify the situation somehow
OTHER DUDE: Uhh… this isn’t good…
ME: (thinking) No shit, Sherlock.
struggles some more[sup]footnote[/sup]
violently spews water from mouth and nose GAAHK GUK KLLP PFFT KZNT

[sub]footnote: The reason I was having so much trouble is this. The human mind can go through a surprising amount of logic in such a small amount of time. My train of thought first informed me, “YOU CANNOT BREATHE! PANIC!” Then logic reasserted itself and ordered my lungs to shut up and leave us alone for awhile, because no one wants to inhale water. Then it sat back and considered the situation, while the piece of my brain reserved for just such occasions gibbered in mindless terror. Because you always have to have some mindless gibbering. First, logic thought of trying to cough. But to cough you must first inhale. Bad idea. Then it thought of opening the mouth and letting all the water drain out onto the floor, but our life wasn’t in TRULY immediate danger and we didn’t want to get our clothing wet. So at about that point we leaned forward. Then we looked around to see if anyone had come up with any useful ideas. RASTA TORTOISE was sitting there looking like someone had hit him with a plank and OTHER DUDE was just standing around saying “Uhh… this isn’t good…” So no help there. Back to the problem. We don’t want to spew on the floor; that would be rude and we’d probably inhale water. Well, to cheesecake with politeness, we can’t hold our breath much longer and the lungs are starting to get really bitchy. We start working on a way to spew without inhaling. Processing… processing… BLEAAHHHHGACKLLP etc. Total elapsed time: Roughly thirty seconds from water-in to water-out.[/sub]

I was in a 4WD which rolled about 5-6 times with 3 mates. Mate riding shotgun ended up in hospital with serious head injuries, he actually did die for a little bit but was revived, and was in a coma for about 2 weeks. Ended up with very slight brain damage, nothing that you’d notice unless you knew. The rest of us were fine, just some scratches and a broken wrist. But we all respect the destructive power cars can have to this day :slight_smile:

Blue Elk tells me that when I passed him I was doing close to 70 miles per hour (and we are fairly good judges of our board speeds). He says he saw me commit to the turn, and then it looked like my board caught an edge on a patch of ice, perhaps in a small piece of shade. I ended up something like 70 feet from where I started my turn, so that part is hard to know.

The force of the impact was so hard that it shattered my $200 Oakley goggles and turned my helmet about 90 degrees on my head. I don’t remember anything after I crouched to commit to the turn. One minute I’m pulling my hip around left, next minute I’m in terrible pain.

Blue Elk told me later that he had never been so scared (until his son, Moe, was born). He said he hollered for at least 12 seconds before I made any noise at all. He had time to unstrap my board, get my helmet off, and flip me onto my back so I could breathe (I was face down when he got to me). Then he started yelling. I was unconscious for maybe 30-45 seconds. That’s a long time if you’re the person who is awake.

That was not the last time I went snowboarding, of course. It was the last time I ever drove more than 4 hours to get to a slope and went boarding that day, however. If it takes more than 4 hours, I no longer drive all night to board all day.

Snowboarding is an awesome thing, right up there with having sex, playing guitar, and smoking good weed. But, as I say, luck favors the prepared. If you go, wear a helmet all the time. I also wear a football mouth guard (that day at Mammoth was the first day I used one) to prevent any biting or (further) loss of teeth (I am missing all or part of 12 different teeth from various, um, mishaps… I do a lot of physically demanding things with my time :D), and a good pair of goggles (preferably shatterproof, although the name isn’t exactly accurate).

btw, Stuffy… whew! your’s is a corker!

I came really close to falling off of the mast of a Peruvian frigate.

Not that exciting of a story, but I’d be just as dead.