Posted on September 1, 2011 · Posted in TBI Voices
This entry is part 4 of 24 in the series Nancy

Severe Pediatric Brain Injury: Nancy Part Four

I talked Nancy’s Mom about the accident that caused her severe pediatric brain injury. A fishtailing pick-up with a trailer attached caused the wreck that caused Nancy’s severe pediatric brain injury.


“When the oncoming truck hit them, it split the bed of the truck in two.”


Otto was driving the family pickup, with Nancy sitting next to him and the family friend next to the passenger window when the collision occurred.  Mom explains what happened to cause the wreck to cause Nancy’s severe pediatric brain injury :

It’s an older truck and we were hauling four dogs in the back of the truck.  We raise beagles.  We were on field trial weekend.  That’s their annual outing, my husband and daughter.  And, also they had a snowmobile in the back of the truck for when they hunt and stuff that just comes with, and goes with them wherever they go.

And so my husband was driving slower.  He drives slow enough as it is but he was driving slower because of the conditions and taking it easy and actually was pulling off the side of the road when the other vehicle was coming out of control towards him.

Was it oncoming?

Oncoming, yes.  Another pickup truck which was fishtailing back and forth was coming around a curve towards them, totally out of control, and my husband’s truck hit the oncoming truck between the cab and the back end of the truck.

And like I had said, my husband was almost at a stand still.  He was pulling off into the gravel and when the truck, the oncoming truck hit them, it split the bed of the truck in two.

So in essence even though your husband’s truck was going more or less straight onto the shoulder, it still T‑boned the other vehicle because that other vehicle had fishtailed that badly?

Yes.  According to passersby who was following (the other truck) he was going well over 70 miles an hour on these roads.

And this was a 55 mile an hour highway?


What were the conditions like?

Black icy conditions.  It had been raining.  It was warm enough but it was of course getting to be late evening and the roads were getting icy.

My daughter was in the center seat and our friend was in the passenger, far right seat.  It was a truck with a single bench seat.  It was an older vehicle, so of course where do we put the kids all the time is on the hump where the center seatbelt is with no shoulder strap.

Do you know why it was your daughter suffered a severe pediatric brain injury?

Just the lap belt and the fact that the body was able to move forward on impact.

Did she hit her head on anything inside the vehicle to cause the severe pediatric brain injury , the windshield?

We’re, we’re pretty sure she did.  I, it’s the way that hitting the front corner of, of our truck which was the headlight caused her to probably go at an angle towards the dashboard and stick shift is what we’re picturing.

It had a stick shift on the column?

On the column.  Yes.

Your husband, did he hit the windshield?

He hit the side window.  The left side window.

This is an old enough truck there wouldn’t have been any air bags?

No air bags.  It’s from 1986.

Next in Part Five  – Transported to Madison for Brain Surgery

By Attorney Gordon Johnson


About the Author

Attorney Gordon S. Johnson, Jr.
Past Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice :: 800-992-9447