Roy To The Rescue :: The Accident

The WreckRoy is like some sort of weirdness magnet.  Meaning he has unique <slash>  crazy things happen to him on a regular basis.  Keeps life interesting for sure.  This is one of those stories.

I originally posted this on our family site the day after it happened on September 9th  2011. It’s written by Roy himself as I always ask him to write these things up for our family history.


 divider 1

Approximate time 8:50PM
Written by Roy Rivers


“I heard the sound of an impact, and watched the car go out of control, hitting the concrete divider twice, as it spun out… I could hear screaming. “

Last night, between takes, while doing a recording session in my home studio, I heard the faint sound of live music coming from an outdoor venue (Bald Mountain Park) thatʼs nearby. This happens all the time but for some crazy reason, or so I thought at the moment, I decided to step outside to see if I could discern what was being played. I walked out of my studio door, and leaned against my car. At that exact moment, I looked over to the freeway (270 bypass) that runs parallel to our property, about 1/4 mile away in front of our home. I saw one car just coming into view, and at that very instant, I heard the sound of an impact, and watched the car go out of control, hitting the concrete divider twice, as it spun out, and then came to a rest near the ditch off of the freeway. As it impacted the concrete wall, a small fireball and lots of sparks shot up into the air. It appeared to be just the single car involved, and although it was dark, I knew that it was a serious accident and I had to do something.


I immediately went back into the studio and grabbed my cellphone from my desktop and was out of the door again. I knew my car could not reach the freeway ditch so I opted to run across the large un-mowed open field between us and the freeway.  I could hear screaming. While running as fast as I could towards the wreck I dialed 911.   I continued relaying location information to the 911 operator and then a policeman who was connected in to my call. I got almost to the accident and ran into a wire fence that I had forgotten about.  I ran full forced into it and it knocked me down. Ironically I was not hurt at all.  I got back up, climbed over the fence, jumped across the ditch, and was at the car reporting to the 911 operator what I found.

The car was occupied by a 21 year old woman and her small black and white dog. The airbag had been deployed and the car had been very badly damaged, if not totaled,  but miraculously she was generally okay… meaning… she wasn’t noticeably bleeding, and didn’t appear to have any head injuries. Her seat belt was on  and she was clearly stunned and probably suffering from a bit of shock. Her little dog seemed fine also. The cars impact and the airbag had left abrasions, on her arms and neck. The chemical smell of the airbag was very strong and the car was filled with light smoke and steam from the radiator. I could even see what appeared to be some smoke still coming from the airbag.


I asked her if she was hurt, and she was voicing concern with pain in her chest, neck, back, and arms. She was also crying. The 911 operator had dispatched help, took my number, and released me from the call. I was now just trying to make sure that she didn’t move any more than absolutely needed, and flag down the first responders as they arrived on the scene. The girl had told me during the first moment I reached her, that something was in the road… like a big wooden box, or something. She tried to avoid hitting it but could not and she lost control. That was likely the first impact that I heard at the moment I looked out at her car lights from my house. She asked if she could use my cellphone to call her dad. As she was using the phone and emotionally telling him what happened, I was able to assess the damage to the car. As approaching traffic was lighting up parts of the freeway, I could see lots of debris all over the road… pieces of her car, what looked like some cardboard, and other debris I couldn’t really tell what was. When they saw me on the road one car stopped to offer help, then two more, before the first off duty officers arrived. In all, there were 7 vehicles with flashing lights at the height of the response, plus two other unmarked cars from law enforcement. The total time elapsed was probably about 8-10 minutes from the actual occurrence of the wreck, before official first responders were on the scene. Pretty good response time!


The paramedics took her away in the ambulance for follow up and as I talked with the official first responders, who told me that apparently a large console TV was on the side of the freeway in pieces. Evidently, it had fallen out of someone’s vehicle and they either didn’t know it, or elected to keep going. Like she had told me the woman had simply tried to avoid hitting it as it came into her view, and the evasive action of her steering put her car in a spin.  Iʼm just glad that she (and her dog) were okay, because this kind of an accident could easily have ended with serious injury or death.


In summary, I didn’t do anything special beyond what any person would do in facing the very same circumstances, but I will say this. Iʼm very glad I acted upon that little impression to step outside last night as no one would have seen her as they drove by. Obviously, without knowing what I was about to witness, I was looking right at the car at the very instant the accident took place. I knew I was the only person that could make the 911 call, and I was literally running through the field towards the accident within 10 seconds of it happening. I wasn’t needed to provide lifesaving first aid or anything, but that was going through my mind as I was running across the field and talking to the 911 operator considering how bad the accident was. I think what I did do, was simply to offer reassurance that things were going to be okay, to someone that needed it, in that moment.

I’ve had many things like this happen in my past, where I acted on a very small impression, without really thinking about it, and was able to offer a measure of help. This was my 3rd experience with an accident where I was the first one on the scene. I donʼt know the womanʼs name, but Iʼm very happy that she appeared to be okay,  and Iʼm very satisfied that I was there to help in some small way, in another personʼs time of need.

Roy Rivers


Photo I took at the scene.



Taken the next day from outside my studio where I witnessed the crash. I walked back over to the exact spot so Nancy could take a photo.  roy

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