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'The Accident'

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'I didn't even know what I'd hit until I looked in the rearview mirror and saw bodies and bookbags flying everywhere'.

I've heard these words from my mother more times than I can count, though she was rarely speaking directly to me when she said them.  Of course, my mother never hit anyone with her car that I know of, but this is her account of the words spoken by the man who hit my older sister and me with his jeep as we were crossing the street at a busy intersection on November 11, 1989.  My sister had just turned eleven years old a few weeks previously and I was excitedly preparing for my seventh birthday which was only a few days away.

The day had begun as a perfectly ordinary day with my mother getting my sister and I out of bed and ready for school before leaving for her job at the local clinic just a few blocks away from our home.  We had waited for our ride, a carpool with the mother of one of our friends from church who attended the same school that we did,…