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Minivan vs. Concrete Light Pole: I was heavily intoxicated.
Winter Springs, Florida
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I was coming home from the bar where I had been hanging out with my friends. It was Spring Break, March 16, 2007 at 2:30 am in Winter Springs, Florida (a suburb on the outskirts of Orlando). It was a rainy night and the roads were slick. I was traveling in a 2005 Mazda MPV LX at an estimated speed of 40 - 45 mph on winding residential road with a posted speed limit of 25 mph. I was heavily intoxicated.
I rounded the corner and realized I had passed the entrance to my subdivision. I went off the road onto the soft shoulder to turn around and struck the light pole. The impact was at an estimated speed of 35 mph. I never even tapped the brakes. I was not wearing my seatbelt and was thrown under the dashboard of my car. Luckily the light pole fell away from the van and landed in pieces on the pavement. I was given a ticket for careless driving, another for DUI, and arrested and taken to jail.
To my suprise, my van was not totaled. It had $10,500.00 in damages. I went to the hospital after I was bailed out of jail. The MRI showed that I had two herniated discs at L4 & L5 and L5 & S1. I had airbag burns on my arms and face. I had minor cuts and bruises. I was out of work for eight weeks and I am still under going treatment for my back injury. I am in constant pain and the damage to my spine is perminent. I was convicted of Reckless Driving and sentenced to 1 year probation, ordered to pay $1,042.00 for the utility pole, ordered to attend alcohol counseling and AA meetings, fined $500.00, and my driver's license was suspended for 1 year for refusing the BAL Test and Drug Screen. I am lucky that I did not hurt or kill anyone and I did not suffer further injuries or die. It could have been much worst.
I learned the hard way, drugs, alcohol, & driving do not mix. If you want to drink alcohol, have a driver ready to pick you up or call a cab. It will be much cheeper and safer.
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