Coping with Causing a Serious Accident
A Site for Information, Support, and Healing

Who We Are

We are good people who have unintentionally harmed others, in accidents occurring on the roads, at work, at play, or around the home. I call us CADI’s (Causing Accidental Death or Injury). Most of us feel grief, guilt, and distress about our accidents. Over time, we learn that our mistake does not have to define us.

Who I am

I am a social psychologist and educator. I am also a CADI, as a result of an accident in which an 8-year old boy ran in front of my car and was killed. I have been talking with and writing about CADIs for over ten years.

Highlights

There is no easy path to peace. Each of us must find our own way through this dark night of the soul. Although we cannot change what happened, we can control how we respond. I believe that CADI’s face three challenges:

In this site, I share information and resources that may be helpful to you. I encourage you to share your ideas and experience. You can write me privately here, or add your comments so that other readers can benefit from your input.

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Kim
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Kim

Wow, I just discovered this website from a NYTimes article. I have always wondered how people deal with guilt from events, whether intentional or not, though my experience is mainly with the former. I want everyone to know that I have always had great compassion for the people surrounding a tragedy, trying to deal with the complex feelings engendered. How does one find enough meaning in an event to incorporate it into one’s life and live with it? How can one live with intense guilt and suicidal feelings? I tend to think of life as a tapestry ( not being… Read more »

Mary
Guest
Mary

I recently posted on this site about something that occurred with regards to my; brother….,I did not kill him but he could have been hurt. I have an additional question: do people on this site pursue counseling to deal with their guilt? If so. has it helped to set you free? Someone told me about a therapy called ERP,,,emotionL response therapy, It involves experiencing the pain of the event in order to process it. Thank you.

Thomas
Guest
Thomas

I just wanted to leave a message to maybe help someone, or maybe just provoke some thoughts. I guess this is more a post for someone that is few months/years after an accident, rather than a raw event . 3 years ago when i was 19, I hit a motorcycle on the way from work almost head on down a narrow country lane – the man riding it was killed, pretty much instantly. Totally my fault. I don’t want to dwell too much on what i went through…everyone here would be able to relate. heavy, heavy guilt, remorse, PTSD, Court… Read more »

Mary
Guest
Mary

Beautifully written. I did not cause bodily harm yet I am still finding it so difficult to forgive myself for what I did. How did you get through the suicidal thoughts, ptsd, etc. simply by turning it all over to God? I assume you have had intense therapy. I am on medication and probably will be forever….and like I said, I did not harm anyone physically. I admire you. I really do,

Barbara Checknoff
Guest
Barbara Checknoff

My story is unusual, different. I watched as a small child in my care was run over and killed by a riding lawnmower. I was 19. I am now 66. Many people in my life do not know this story. Some do. I don’t believe I ever processed this. I have felt unbearable guilt that my negligence allowed this to happen. I was almost charged with criminal negligence. People tell me I was very young, but that does not take away the guilt. I get through life by pushing this memory down deep inside be. I still work with children,… Read more »

Mary
Guest
Mary

Hi Barbara…I don’t have any real advice as I obviously need help myself, however I want to commend you for hanging in there for so long. I did something very foolish 2 years ago that involved my sweet brother. I did not physically harm him but the consequences could have been devastating. I am struggling to ‘get over it’ and essentially have developed ocd as a result as I think about it every day, I am 62 and experienced trauma right before I did what I did which I am sure is what led me to do what I did,… Read more »

Barbara Checknoff
Guest
Barbara Checknoff

Thank you for your supportive words. Yes, my therapist now is the first one who has suggested–very very gently–that I should maybe process it, even after all these years. I hope you also find a path to forgiving yourself.

Mary
Guest
Mary

Did she give you suggestions on how to process it? My therapist suggested ERP therapy. Not sure if you have ever heard of it. I do admire you for all you have been able to accomplish. I have been very unmotivated since my incident. It is hard just to get up in the morning. You are a strong, brave woman.

Barbara Checknoff
Guest
Barbara Checknoff

Mary, please don’t be hard on yourself for however you are handling your feelings. It is huge, and complicated, what you are going through. The fact that you are trying to make sense of it instead of being in denial or just self-medicating to push down the pain, speaks to your bravery and strength. I wish I had answers.

Mary
Guest
Mary

Thank you Barbara. As I said, I admire you for hanging on so long. I have been at this for ‘only’ 2 years and every day is a living hell.,.and like I said, I did not hurt my brother physically. I am taking it one day at a time which is all I can do. Past trauma contributed to what I did.l.that I know for sure as I was not in the right state of mind when what happened occurred.
Thank you again.

Teresa
Guest
Teresa

The accident that I was involved in happened almost four years ago in June 2016. I was driving home from work around 4 pm. I live in a large city, so rush hour had started, and the traffic was pretty heavy. I was on one of the busier streets in our neighborhood, when I decided to use a smaller side street to make a left turn. The intersection did not have a light, but it had a stop sign facing the street I was on. I got up to the stop sign and came to a stop, but I could… Read more »

Mary
Guest
Mary

I have a friend who hit someone with his car. The person died a couple of months later. No one was supposed to be where he was driving. My friend refuses to seek professional help. He blames himself and thinks he deserves the worse. I feel hopeless in helping him cope since he refuses any show of compassion. Can you advise me in any way?

Kim
Guest
Kim

I have a son that had an accident with an 18 year old. She died a week later. She pulled out of a driveway into a street, but my son was speeding. He got 16 years in prison. He has tried to commit suicide twice. He needs prayers. He has unbelievable guilt!

Mary
Guest
Mary

Have you considered Emdr therapy for him? This was discussed during an accidental impacts zoom meeting. I did not kill anyone but am looking into it myself as I hurt someone.

Mary
Guest
Mary

I just can’t forgive myself for what I have done and it has been almost 2 years. I did not kill anyone but they were hurt. It was my very own brother. He has forgiven me but I cannot forgive myself. Been on countless medications…nothing helps. Does healing ever really happen. I am in therapy now to try to deal with this. Thank you for listening.

Polly
Guest
Polly

On April 23, 2020, also my wedding anniversary I was traveling to work at 5:00 am I had just got into the interstate and there was a flash and a sound I dont think that I will ever forget. It was so dark and raining. I was ask by the 911 operator if I was sure that it was a person. After the fire department fonally found him I felt as though bery bit of what ever was in me was now gone. 3 hours later the state patrol said I could go to my husband truck and go home.… Read more »

Erik
Guest
Erik

Brain injury to wife brought on early dementia:   Annie’s first Pneumonia attack that put her in the hospital was entirely my fault.  She wanted to go to the doctor and I said as long as you feel okay, we will just do the nebulizer medication for your asthma.  I thought it was just asthma.  That worked for 4 days and then on the following Saturday she said “ I’m having a hard time breathing”.  Our house girl got a cab in about 2 minutes but on the way to the hospital she quit breathing.  About 10 minutes later we got… Read more »

Ash M
Guest
Ash M

This month will mark 18 months since the accident. I was living with my best friend because my wife and I had recently split up. My best friend was 15 years older than I. We were auto mechanics and worked at the same shop together. He had never been married or had kids.. never really grew out of being a frat boy even though he’d been out of college for 15 years. Since he was a bit of a partier and I had just split up from a relationship of seven years I fell into drinking often. I preferred drinking… Read more »

Ginny Reynolds
Guest
Ginny Reynolds

TODAY—RIGHT NOW—PRAY THAT JADEN WILL LIVE AND FULLY RECOVER If any of you believe in prayer, PLEASE PRAY for a 10 year old boy who I allowed to fish at our pond. He had been coming to our pond to fish for a few days. With the Corona virus, the kids are out of school and he was looking for places to fish. I had seen him fish at other ponds and he was very adept. He told me he could swim and had been swimming in some of the other ponds. I became too trusting that he knew what… Read more »

ginny Reynolds
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ginny Reynolds

Join the discussion…Jaden passed away.

Theresa
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Theresa

I’m sorry Ginny. Sending you peace to heal your heavy heart. 💗

Casey
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Casey

Praying for you right now. Lifting your name up. Jesus, please give Ginny peace. Comfort her. Please, take away this unnecessary guilt that she is experiencing. Thank you, Lord, for healing Ginny’s heart. In your precious name, Jesus, amen.

Virginia
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Virginia

I am so sorry. My heart weeps with you. I just saw this tonight. We have the same name. I will be praying for you and Jaden’s family as I lay in bed tonight. “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18. Praying for you all… that He will save your spirits from despair and that you will feel His closeness and His care for you.

Jenn
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Jenn

Ginny I am so very sorry for your loss, my heart goes out to you! Praying for God’s peace to surround you and the family. ❤️

Heather
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Heather

Tomorrow Jillian would have been 48 years old, and it will be thirty years since the accident – we were on our way to a movie to celebrate her 18th birthday, she was in the middle seat in the back of the minivan. Sherri and I were in the front seat and I looked down for a second to change the song on the radio. By the time I looked up the light had turned red and we were in the intersection- I heard Sherri scream and then heard a sound I will never be able to describe and will… Read more »

Izzy
Guest
Izzy

Being on this site has made me realize how hard it has been, and still is, for my family and friends to know what to say to me over the years since my accident 32 years ago. I find it hard to find the right words in an attempt to bring you some sense of peace or comfort. So I’m not going to, but I can say that I have so much empathy for what you’ve been going through. It’s hard for people to understand, at least for the people in my life, why I still have days that are… Read more »

Jay
Guest
Jay

It has been a year since I hit a pedestrian and killed him. My story is a little different from others here as it was a hit and run. One where I feel extreme guilt, regret ,remorse and shame for multiple reasons. While driving at night, (completely sober and not distracted) out of nowhere someone crashed into my windshield. At that moment, I didn’t know if it was a man or a woman, young or old, as it happened so quickly and the windshield glass shattered on me. I was scared and I was in shock as it did not… Read more »

Lucy
Guest
Lucy

I’m so sorry for the anguish you’re going through. I’ve not been in exactly your situation, I came here because I hit and hurt, but didn’t kill, two people, one quite a long time ago, the other last year. But I can imagine why you’d just panic and leave the scene, and know immediately it was the wrong thing to do but then be unable to turn back. It’s a profoundly human reaction, and so tragic because it just cascades. I’ve run away lots of times in lots of ways from bad mistakes, including once when I hit another (empty)… Read more »

James
Guest
James

I have been on two sides of this issue, both as the cause of an accident when I lost focus for just a split second on the highway, causing another driver to swerve, lose control and crash their vehicle, and as a victim in a different accident in 2018, when I was almost killed after my vehicle was struck by a drunk driver. I still struggle with feelings of guilt and shame from the accident I caused, even though it wasn’t done on purpose. I don’t remember the impact of the other one where I was struck by the drunk… Read more »

Lesly
Guest
Lesly

My friend and I were going to a hotel party. It was our mutual friends birthday. I had my swimsuit on underneath my clothing. I was wearing black canvas shoes. It was icy and snowy on the sidewalk but not the roads. I thought I would slip on my way to the car. She picked me up and I threw my backpack into the back seat. I saw her little back pack and her towel there too. She asked me which way she should go because if she went one way she would have to make a U turn, if… Read more »

Patti
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Patti

Please get help! Maybe EMDR. It works!!

Lesly J
Guest
Lesly J

I’ll look into it.

Kind2u
Guest
Kind2u

Dear lesly, I can only share that we know the same pain, what u feel is humane, as hard as it is wanting to feel better is the first step to trying to move forward. You tend to spend most of the days feeling like you do because you feel like you need to punish yourself. Sometimes it comes down with forgiving yourself, very hard to do easy to say, I know but I believe you still deserve the best out of life so please be kind to yourself one day at a time. I too hate the media, they… Read more »

Lesly J
Guest
Lesly J

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I appreciate it! everyday has been easier. I did cry one time I was out drinking, I’ll probably stay sober for a while now. I still think about it everyday I know my friend does too but I’m starting to feel normal again. I’m not slacking in school and going out with my friends doesn’t feel horrible anymore. My friend has been doing the same. And yes that’s exactly what everyone around us sees her as; a killer. No one understands and is quick to judge but we learned to… Read more »

Nick James
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Nick James

Driving under influence, crashed into the pavement and spun out at 30 MPH on a corner around 3AM. I was arrested within 5 minutes as I was driving through a high street and if this was happened at 3PM, it would’ve been worse. From now on, I will always ensure I take a extra precaution driving anywhere at any time in any weather. Fined and banned a lesson well taught.

Trish
Guest
Trish

Very interesting to hear the other side of the story. I was crossing the road on a pedestrian crossing in broad daylight on a straight road with a 20 mph limit, in white coat and hat. An 80 year old drove his car straight into me, he just didn’t see me. I was in hospital for 2 weeks, walking with a stick for a year, and had PTSD. I now take antidepressants. And for all this he was fined £120. I have been angry with him ever since, it was 2 years ago. I never thought before that he may… Read more »

Simon
Guest
Simon

In 1981 my Dad stopped his car to help a girl who had fallen off her moped. Whilst helping her they were hit by a chap on his motorcycle, who had inadvertently broken a simple double white line to overtake a queue of traffic. As an 11 year old, clearly it had a massive effect on my life. Do I blame him? Never. That could be me. I just remind myself of all the positives that will have happened because of it. Butterfly effect? Maybe. I miss him. But perhaps his death stopped something worse. I since heard that the… Read more »

Izzy G
Guest
Izzy G

I too wish you could let him know of your forgiveness and beautiful heart, what you’re saying comes from a place most people, not all, but most can never go. I totally understand that, a loved one unexpectedly, and tragically lost is devastating on so many levels, even if it’s expected it’s so hard. I’ve been on both sides of accidentally causing a life lost in a devastating accident and losing a loved one by an act of violence. After the accident it would have made all the difference in my life if the family had your heart and understanding,… Read more »

Lesley
Guest
Lesley

Hi, i found your story really interesting. I was a child that did exactly what Brien had done. I came from a poor estate were we did not really have cars. When my friends grandma offered to take me with them-to the school fate, i was soooooo excited. We felt so grown up we walked the route in front of the rest of the family in our own little world skipping along laughing. Finally the route met a road full of cars speeding past, anxious to show my fear, and not really shaw how to cross a busy road, i… Read more »

John walsh
Guest
John walsh

In 1987, I was involved in a fatal car accident in which an elderly woman died. It wasn’t my fault. Actually, it was shown at the inquest that the woman was up to no good and had been thieving. Gradually, I managed to come to terms with what happened. It’s now over 30 years ago. But what makes me annoyed is other people, who have no idea what they’re talking about passing judgement on the issue. I’ve found that some people who don’t like me anyway will use the accident to cause further grief. There’s also the casual gossips as… Read more »

Hannah
Guest
Hannah

I worked as a nurse. I was burnt out and tired. A patient of mine came to the clinic sweating, pale, and out of breathe. I asked him if I could call him an ambulance. He said no, just give me my meds. So I did. The next day I found out he had died shortly after leaving the clinic. If I had paid more attention, been more firm, hadn’t been so burnt out I could have saved him. But I didn’t. I don’t know how I can live with myself, when I was suppose to be helping people, not… Read more »

Hannah Vos
Guest
Hannah Vos

Dear Hannah I can really empathise with your story, I understand your guilt and shame cos I feel it too. I was a nurse and made a dreadful error resulting in the death of a little girl who I loved. The words of Edith Egar in her book ‘The Choice’ have helped me so much …”how easily we are seduced by the fantasy that we were in control … how easily we cling to -worship- the choices we could or should have made. Could I have saved her/him? Maybe. And I will live for all the rest of my life… Read more »

Izzy
Guest
Izzy

Hannah, I couldn’t have said it more beautifully. As a fellow nurse I know it’s a potential reality we all share as we are human beings and tragic, unintended mistakes can happen. You are a great exemplar of what every nurse should strive to be. I’m sure you’ve helped save many lives and while it probably doesn’t ever fully take away the pain, by continuing to push forward and continue to take care of people, when I’m sure you’ve had doubts, I know I have, is why you’re extraordinary!! I only hope your brilliant and kind words will help our… Read more »

Hannah Vos
Guest
Hannah Vos

Thank you Izzy for you lovely kind words, I hope your doing ok? I had to give up nursing unfortunately due to health reasons but I’ve started a degree in Integrative Counselling which I really enjoy and look forward to using my skills to help more people. As Maryann says, I’m starting to thrive, not just survive. Much love to you xx

Mara
Guest
Mara

On a beautiful Autumn day in 1987, my husband of four years was riding his bike through a busy intersection in a small mid-western town when he was hit by a car. He died of chest injuries several hours later in surgery at the age of 29. It changed the course of my life and the life of his family and our friends too. Many of us used the loss we felt to make important changes in our own lives. We thought, if his life could be cut short unexpectedly, then why should we wait to do something brave, to… Read more »

Cheyanne
Guest
Cheyanne

Hi I am Cheyanne. I’m 16 years old and was in a horrible accident last week. My boyfriend got me a pellet gun for our 1 year anniversary and I was trying to scope the gun so I was shooting at a tree that had a target on it. I shoot with one eye closed and one eye looking through the scope. His little brother and my boyfriend was off the porch while I was on the porch with one of my boyfriends friends. So my boyfriend was supposed to be watching his little brother while I’m as scoping the… Read more »

Camilla
Guest
Camilla

Hi Cheyanne – first of all I want to say I’m so sorry that this happened. You must be in so much pain right now. I don’t believe we have all the answers in this life but what happened was a horrible accident so I hope you will forgive yourself one day. Sometimes life is just random and hard. Remember also that there were other reasons for the death besides your action. No one was watching him, he ran out without looking and the ambulance took way too long to arrive. All of these factors combined together with the gun… Read more »

Amanda Christine Marek
Guest
Amanda Christine Marek

I can only imagine the grief you are experiencing. When you take a life unintentionally, there are no words for that. The best advice I can give you is to take it one day at a time. Express your grief and be there for his family in any way you can. Right now you have to focus on your unborn child and what direction you want your life to take. Life is incredibly fragile as anyone who has ever been a CADI is so blatantly aware of. You need to stay around those who love you and you need counselling.… Read more »

Tara
Guest
Tara

How does one ever really forgive themselves and move on, My incident happened over a year ago and I still think about it daily. I now even take medication because of it.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Hi Tara, It’s a great question. I just hit the 18 year mark, and it still pops into my mind on a regular basis. There are all kinds of cues in my environment that will bring back some of the emotion, or remind me specific parts of the accident. Sometimes I go a week or two without thinking of it, but it’s just a part of my inner life now so I don’t really keep track. With time, the raw emotion has lessened. I’ve accepted the role that I played in the accident, but haven’t necessarily forgiven myself. After 12… Read more »

Mary
Guest
Mary

My daughter accidentally caused the death of a bicyclist. She was driving in our neighborhood and came down a hill and he was coming down another hill. He swerved to avoid her and crashed. She stopped to see if he was ok and he said he thought he broke his neck and couldn’t move. She called 911 and stayed with him. He died 5 days later from his injuries . She was a senior in high school and finished the year home bound. He was a beloved college professor and the accident was on the news and in the papers… Read more »

Jennifer
Guest
Jennifer

I am so very sorry, 2 years is still very fresh. May I suggest books The Ride of Your Life: Faith will move you forward. The author also hit a cyclist. ❤️

Izzy G
Guest
Izzy G

Mary, It’s been 35 years since my car accident. I had just turned 18 two days before, driving with my friends on a rainy day. No distractions, rowdiness, alcohol or drugs. My friend in the passenger seat decided to grab the steering wheel out of the blue to scare some kids (never intending for a tragedy to occur) they were walking on the side of the road (wet roads). I accidentally over-corrected avoiding the kids and instead slid head-on into the oncoming car. The driver of that vehicle died. He was a senior when I was a sophomore, beloved drama… Read more »

Rachel
Guest
Rachel

Hi all. My name is Rachel and I’m 19 years old. My mom found this website for me. I’ve generally been through a lot in life already, and it’s definitely made me wiser and stronger. However, I tend to find myself questioning God right now because I feel so defeated over this which is the last thing I want to do. My faith is everything to me but this is so, so hard. This accident happened to me in Oct. of 2019. I was at an intersection stopped trying to turn left with a yield green light, there was a… Read more »

Ruthanne Robertson
Guest
Ruthanne Robertson

Rachel, I hope you’re doing ok. Our experiences do sound similar. When I hit the motorcycle, or rather I pulled in front of him and he hit me, he was thrown quite a distance. At first I didn’t know where he was, I thought he was under my car. He had gone across my windshield and all I saw by my car were his bike and his shoes. I could hardly get out of the car because the bike was in the way and I was terrified to go to him. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t find… Read more »

Tyree
Guest
Tyree

hello, First week of December around almost midnight myself and sister were driving to get some fast food. I was driving down a dark road and there was no cars around me or on the other side of the road. Out of nowhere a person was in the street and I hit them. Coming down the street the road was clear I truly didn’t see anyone in the street. It wasn’t in a crosswalk. The car is all black with dark tints. Once I hit them I immediately stopped and my body went into shock because I couldn’t believe what… Read more »

Ruthanne
Guest
Ruthanne

Tyree,

This is such an awful thing to experience so young. I’m not so young and it’s still awful. Hopefully You can find a therapist to work with. I don’t think this is something to get through without some professional help. I don’t know how to contact you, so you can reach me at ruthannie825@gmail.com. I hope things are better than a month ago.

Stacey Jean
Guest
Stacey Jean

How are you coping now this happened to me too just before Christmas I feel horrendous and don’t know how to cope x

Brandon
Guest
Brandon

Hello I’m so happy my friend sent this site to me.
Last Saturday I was in a accident in Delaware around 1:40am. I was driving on 95 and thought I saw something in the road. What I thought was a deer was a woman walking in the middle Lane. I hit her going 60 killing her on impact. Now I’m really going through it mentelly…need help seriously.

Ruthanne
Guest
Ruthanne

I am relieved to find this site. Two weeks ago I was on my way to work very early in the dark. I collided with a man on a motorcycle. He died last week. I am all over the place emotionally and trying to hold it together. I’ll be fine for a little while and function like normal at work, but once my mind isn’t engaged elsewhere it’s all I think about. The man had a child and one on the way. My husband won’t listen to me say anything about feeling guilty or to blame, he just gets angry.… Read more »

Tyree
Guest
Tyree

I’m so sorry your going through this. I know exactly what your feeling because I was out in your same position a few weeks ago. If it would be any help to you , maybe we could exchange numbers and talk about both of our situations to help each other cope.

Rachel
Guest
Rachel

Hi Ruthanne. I had a situation very similar to yours that I just posted. I feel less lonely reading your story. I hope you are recovering and doing well.

Bonnie
Guest
Bonnie

Hi Ruthanne, so sorry you have to endure this awful pain and agony. I wouldn’t wish it on my worse enemy. Although my accident that claimed the life of my best friend of 30 yrs wasn’t the same but 8 know we share a lot of the same feelings. I remember things got pretty intense with my husband, he didn’t really want me to talk about those things either. One day I burst into tears, he asked what was wrong and I told him I didn’t understand why I couldn’t talk to him about it. He said it’s just that… Read more »

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

When I was 22 I was involved in a hunting accident where a 14 year old son of a friend was shot and killed. I was not the guy with the gun, but I did make decisions that contributed to the kids being in the wrong place. I am not 38 and have been through 2 marriages. The last to a women who is s paranoid schizophrenic. This has meant she is not allowed to see our daughter, and I’m a full time Dad to 2 kids, working full time. I suffer from chronic anxiety and depression and I’m really… Read more »

Phillip
Guest
Phillip

Jay,
I’ve been through similar. And had a break down from it . I know your pain . In a lot of ways it has made me a better person I’m not so quick to point fingers at people .

Phillip
Guest
Phillip

Jay,
What if this happened to one of your best friends . What would you tell him or her?
Why would you not tell your self the same thing ?

Tom
Guest
Tom

Keep trying new things, maybe you’ll find the right kind of therapy or something else that will change your life, and hang in there for your family!

Jay
Guest
Jay

22 years ago, I was 20, I was the driver in a drunk driving accident that killed my best friend. Not only were we best friends, but our families had also been long time friends. I became the town pariah. I immediately became “that guy”, the villain in everyone’s movie. On a few occasions different people said to me, “oh you’re the one who killed that boy”. I eventually moved away and except for 3 times never talked about it. The 3 times I had was because I had been in relationships and had to explain my, at the least,… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Hey Jay. I hear you man. I’ve had guilt, shame and self hate for a long time too. We’re about the same age and things happened to us around the same time. It can be debilitating and isolating like you’re saying. I’m glad we found this site though and you took a step towards getting things off your chest by writing this. It seems like there might be some more things to do that would ease some more of the pain. The only thing I would question is your statement that since you’re not the victim that you don’t deserve… Read more »

Jan
Guest
Jan

Dear Jay, your story resonates with me, and I hope that I can help in some way. Your pain is at risk of becoming generational, so please forgive yourself, for the sake of your lovely new child, and her future children. Your friend has forgiven you, I am sure, and right now I am sending you a big hug, and praying for healing for you. You and your new family deserve to live life to the fullest. Please, please get help immediately if you are considering suicide. Here is my story: I grew up the youngest of 3 children, and… Read more »

William
Guest
William

My name is Will, I am responsible for the death of a dear friend. I have suffered from alcohol/substance abuse from the age of 14. When I was 19 years old, under the influence of drugs and alcohol, I accidentally shot and killed my friend as we were playing with a gun. He was only 16, and had just had a baby. To make things worse, I tried to protect myself by lying, as did others who were there when it happened. I was soon arrested and charged with second degree murder. I was eventually sentenced to 8 years in… Read more »

Amy Gettel
Guest
Amy Gettel

I agree opening up and talking is the best thing to do to heal your pain

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

There is a study about to start at the university of Minnesota where they administer psylociben (psychadelic mushrooms) to people who have had traumatizing experiences to study the therapeutic affects. I think these experiences can be traumatizing but I believe they are mostly very intense and very helpful. Interesting

Matthew
Guest
Matthew

Please read about people’s near-death experiences. Your friend’s soul is eternal and he is at peace, i am sure he wants so much for you to forgive yourself, Pam Reynold’s case is a prime example of this https://youtu.be/WNbdUEqDB-k

Larry
Guest
Larry

5 months ago, I pulled in front of a car, the guy driving the other car was ok. I busted a leg banged My head good. My passenger was killed, he was my uncle, he and I were vietnam vets same time same place, we both are service connected PTSD vets. There was pot and beer in my car, the charges are bad, really bad. 8 charges 3 felonies. I could give a shit actually. My injury is not my leg and it feels too severe, it is mortal/fatal and it’s gotten way worse instead of better, I’ve got kids… Read more »

Amy Gettel
Guest
Amy Gettel

Larry, I believe you 1st need to find a way in your heart to forgive yourself.

Bonnie
Guest
Bonnie

Hi Larry, so sorry for your loss and the pain you endure. I remember feeling all that in the beginning and wondering how either my best friend of many years or myself stood with God. Lots and lots of questions about that since we were drinking. The guilt, shame, and grief were so intense I felt like I was hurried with her. Didn’t know if I’d ever be okay again. I was ordered to go to drug and alcohol and AA meetings. I was terrified to say anything. I thought they’d all hate me if they knew. But they actually… Read more »

Leslie
Guest
Leslie

I’ve hidden this accident from my new BF. Is this something I have to tell him? I feel incredible shame because of it… but I also feel like Im keeping secrets from him as well and dont know if he has a right to know, or if I have a right to keep it to myself?

Jack
Guest
Jack

I have so far never had a CADI incident before, so take my advice for what’s worth, your bf might not understand the pain your going through right now, or he might, i feel like only you can answer that question. just know whatever you do you have this community and me who dont see you as a bad person.

Phillip
Guest
Phillip

I’ve had the same issue with telling potential partners . I have found that people understand and respect that I trusted them with it .
Regards

Louise
Guest
Louise

I am a 63 year old woman. Two days ago, I ran a stop sign and hit a car with a family with two very young children. I was looking for an address and distracted. Thankfully, everyone survived without major injury but the image of those young parents frantically trying to get their children extracted from their mangled vehicle is haunting me constantly. I pray thanksgiving to the Lord over and over that they survived but the thought that I could have killed this sweet family is overwhelming.

Terra
Guest
Terra

My boyfriend was almost killed by an Uber driver – the driver hit him while distracted by the Uber app on his phone. He had a brain bleed, and he was in ICU for a while, but he mostly recovered. We know it was an accident and we don’t bear the driver any ill will. Should we contact the driver and tell him that? We’re worried about hurting him.

help
Guest
help

I think that would be a nice thing to do. I’m sure they would appreciate it. I really hope you guys end up okay.

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

From my own experience involving a fatal accident, to hear from you that you hold no blame for him, would definately help his recovery.

Kim
Guest
Kim

I’m not sure that I will be able to join the group due to the fact that it was my husband who accidentally hit a pedestrian, and she died 4 days later. I am having a hard time finding any information online to help my husband through this. He is constantly filled with guilt and blame, and many other things I’m sure. He doesn’t talk very much and just zones out, so I usually just give him space. I am hoping I can get advice from others on how to help him through this

Jane
Guest
Jane

I am so sorry. This happened to my husband a few years ago. Looking back, I think counselling was the best thing my husband did. Do try to look after you and find yourself support too; I found that the first rule of caring and helping someone else is to look after the carer which is you. Be kind to yourselves.

John Cerkvenik
Guest
John Cerkvenik

How does a friend and work supervisor participate in this support for a mechanic that has worked for me for twenty plus years?

Bonnie
Guest
Bonnie

Hi John, I’ve seen other people on here seeking help for a loved one or good friend. As far as I know you can post something.

Peter
Guest
Peter

To the tune of At Seventeen by Janis Ian My life was changed at 17, in ways that could not be foreseen, Carefree youth came to an end, hidden deep from all my friends The laughter and the good time had, covered for a soul so sad, In years ahead i’d come to know, at 17 my life was changed. It appeared to all with smiling faces, I was only going through the paces, Inside of me was total shock, if i’d only had the chance to talk. Someone please come rescue me, and save me from my deep despair,… Read more »

Izzy
Guest
Izzy

Peter,

I was 18 when my life was forever changed. Your words deeply touched my heart because that’s me but I could never express it like that, it’s beautiful! Thank you for sharing. And I believe there is a ray of hope, may have those days the clouds are hovering low but we have to keep looking forward to the sunshine. Take care.

Mae
Guest
Mae

Hello. I am skeptically optimistic about writing here. My accident was over 20 years ago in which I went through a yellow light and did not see the Mac truck coming. Three people in my car passed. One of my best friends, another friend and someone to whom I was just giving a ride and did not know. I’ve thought everything I could think about this accident and myself, Ive been diagnosed with PTSD and live with that but please don’t take that as a complaint. I don’t know what I’m looking for here but I’m just taking the first… Read more »

Izzy
Guest
Izzy

Mae, thank you for sharing your story. I have come to strongly dislike the sentiment stated from family or friends “I understand “, so I’m not going to say that to you. I will say I’ve been through a very similar experience and it has haunted me for 30+ years. I share in your pain and if you’re like me, the pain has helped me to feel connected to the precious life that was lost. He died because of my actions, even if it was a horrible accident. Hanging onto pain may seem self destructive, but it’s a part of… Read more »

Bonnie
Guest
Bonnie

Hello Mae, so very sorry for the awful pain You endure. I was the driver of a fatal accident that claimed the life of my best friend, in which we had been drinking. I was charged with vehicular manslaughter. So along with my great sorrow, grief, shame, turmoil and regret, my sentence could have held up to 7 yrs. Now I was consumed with terror that I’d go to prison. My husband was an over the rd trucker and had to be gone for 2 and 3 weeks at a time. We had 2 boys, 1 was 6 the other… Read more »

Anna
Guest
Anna

Dear All, I found this website while looking for a way how to help my father. He caused a car accident resulting in the death of my grandma – his mother. He blames himself, he asks “what kind of son am I?” I said he got distracted and suddenly he found himself in the opposite line and crashed into another car. They, luckily, got out with just light injuries (it was a small van). I’m obviously very sad and in grief for my grandma. But I’m also worried about my dad. He had a heart attack a few years back. The… Read more »

Katie
Guest
Katie

Hello my name is Katie , and my dad is a CADI ,he over corrected and rolled his car, killing my uncle in the passenger seat. I don’t know how to help him emotionally. And I was wondering if any of you guys had any suggestions on how I can help him. He blames himself (granted he was DD) and I don’t know how to ease the guilt. Any suggestions????

Joe
Guest
Joe

I’ve got one that’s a little left field. Does this site include “psychological accidental death”? An ex who I was super close with recently committed suicide and I feel hugely responsible. She had a devastating divorce, domestic violence was involved, she reached out to me for help. I spent the next 3 years helping her on and off as she was severely depressed, Id always cared for her very deeply but for situations out of our control we were unable to be together, I was married and did not want to give that up, but it got to the point… Read more »

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Hey Joe. Just letting you know that I read this and feel for you. Such a difficult situation. The loss for someone you cared about in-and-of-itself is difficult enough. I think maybe if you could separate those two things (1. the loss of a friend you loved and 2. any guilt over your supposed involvement) it would be a great place to start. Honoring and mourning her death seems healthy. She struggled in life and you knew her well and had love for her and she passed away. That’s one thing. But from an outsiders perspective, even though relationships are… Read more »

Deb
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Deb

Has anyone ever contacted the family of the victim many years after the accident? Every day I wake up thinking about the man I accidentally killed (30 years ago) and his widow. I would like to apologize to her again and let her know that I have not forgotten. During my trial she was extremely ‘positive’, understood that it was an accident and pleaded for leniency for me.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

I did a few years ago. It was about 17 years after my accident. I reached out to one of the children of the father I accidentally killed in a car/motorcycle accident. The daughter I sent a letter to (typed and signed snail mail) didn’t respond. But her younger sister, now a grown young woman, responded to me via email in a very positive and forgiving manner. I almost instantly felt a lot of the weight lift off my chest. I still feel guilt/shame and deal with repurcussions of living so many years with it, but it is much more… Read more »

Izzy
Guest
Izzy

I frequently visit the grave of the young man that died from the car accident that I caused. It’s been almost 35 years and that seems to be the one place I can go and find some small sense of peace on the difficult days. I pour my heart out to him, ask for forgiveness, cry. It calms my soul. And like you, it’s my way of showing I’ll never forget him and I believe he knows I never have and I never could. Take care.

Forrest Lang
Guest
Forrest Lang

I first came across this website years ago. It helped me so much to know there were other people who went through something similar to me. I accidentally shot and killed my best friend when I was 23 years old. I am 42 now. I went on trial for murder and was subsequently acquitted. I went back in the military and tried to give my life in Iraq to make amends. I punished myself for years. How could I possibly deserve to enjoy life after what I had done? Through years of therapy, ayahuasca one time, vulnerability, personal growth seminars,… Read more »

Tina
Guest
Tina

Hi. I too 5 years ago accidentally shot and killed my niece. I went through a very similar situation (if not exact). Over the past 5 years I have worked so hard to try and get my life together. I started a new job about a year ago and have been doing well for myself. Then yesterday happened. I knew it may someday, but someone at work googled me and found my arrest and showed it to all the other employees. I’m having a hard time…I’m not even sure if I should go back to work. I feel ashamed, lost,… Read more »

Phillip
Guest
Phillip

Tina,
Be strong and go to work . I think most wont even bring it up. You will soon know who your friends are at work .
Been through the same myself . I drew the line at work I was going .
Regards

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Hi Tina,
I hope you went back to work and are working through it. I’m curious how things unfolded. I feel for you in this situation. Any update would be great. Best

Daniel
Guest
Daniel

Your story is very near my heart and gives me hope that I will one day find peace. I have been through 2 failed marriages since my shooting accident and am struggling to be a full time Dad and not breakdown at the moment.
Thanks for sharing your story.

Kyle
Guest
Kyle

Im in the army and shot and killed one of my squad members during training by accident 2 years and 7 days ago. I feel like shit about it and wish i wouldnt have been so dumb. I was about to go to jail for manslaughter but my leadership decided i should not be punished given the circumstances. Anyway i got sent to a new unit after the investigation was complete and recently people in my new company started finding out i guess through others that had been there and they learned what happened and honestly it bothers me but… Read more »

Valerie Aguinaga
Guest
Valerie Aguinaga

Help please! I am not a CADI myself, but 5 days ago my 80 year old grandfather accidentally ran over my 83 year old grandmother in their driveway. She died later that night. I am dealing with my own grief, yes, and it is very intense, but I’m here at this site for him. My heart breaks for him and his grief and guilt scare me so much that I have yet to talk to him. I guess I’m on the internet looking for the words to say. I love him dearly. Not only did he accidentally kill someone, it… Read more »

Bonnie
Guest
Bonnie

Hi Valerie. So very sorry for your loss of your grandma and your grandpa’s huge loss and what he is going through. A very difficult and painful situation I was the driver of an accident that ended my best friend of 30 years life. To make matters even worse, we had been drinking. The grief, shame, guilt sorrow and all the responsibility, were unbearable. I didn’t know if I’d ever be okay again. I of course went thro quite a process with the leagal part of it. Because of that, I was forced to talk about it, through AA, drug… Read more »

Mark Brugger
Guest
Mark Brugger

This story starts off and makes more sense with some previous information and context. I had an abusive father who became a father at the age of 19 and for years even to this day since my parents have been divorced, he has been both emotionally and physically abusive to my mother and I (strangely, not my sister,;but he is still toxic.) A couple months ago (5 to be exact), I just turned seventeen and I had always been a conscious and slightly paranoid driver (I am afraid intensely of what could happen or things that aren’t familiar.) I had… Read more »

Joel G Gunderson
Guest
Joel G Gunderson

Hi, folks. Sixteen years ago I was involved in an accidental killing at the age of 18. As the driver of the vehicle who struck a pedestrian, I have struggled to find the proper outlet. I am also an author, and am in the process of telling my story, as well as diving into the world of accidental killers; the guilt we live with, and how we can cope. I would very much be interested in speaking to people here on the forum for my book. If you’re willing to speak with me, please email me at jgunderson85@gmail.com. Your story/experience… Read more »

Nicole
Guest
Nicole

Two years ago I was invoked in a vehicle accident and the driver of the vehicle had passed. I struggle daily to move forward and come to terms I was not 100% at fault. I feel like those around me don’t understand the impact it’s had on me emotionally and physically.
I’m hoping to find a few people that can give advice on how to move on.

Jason
Guest
Jason

I understand, I’m going thru it too. I have good days and bad, I think of the accident and man passing everyday. Nicole, it was an accident. I don’t have any magic answers for you but keep your chin up and just push on. I don’t mean forget about it I don’t think any of us in this situation will ever forget it I mean we just have to push on and handle everything day by day. It’s been 2.5 weeks for me and not a day goes by I don’t think about it. I wish a thousand times over… Read more »

Nhlanhla Sithole
Guest
Nhlanhla Sithole

Hi Jason, please share your email address

Chris
Guest
Chris

Hi Nicole – I am so sorry you have gone through this. And like many people on this site, I too did the same thing. Please know that there are a lot of people in this situation who have been able to move through it – which means you can do. While we have never met, I would bet that you have faced some pretty serious sh** in your life and made it through – with the people who are encouraging you here and with your higher power – I bet you can do this too. It’s not easy –… Read more »

Brittany Grande
Guest
Brittany Grande

I am going through the same thoughts. Two years ago I had my accident too. I killed a pedestrian. I think about it everyday. I feel like the people around me don’t understand exactly either. I have good days and bad ones. If you need anyone to talk to I am always available.

Nhlanhla Sithole
Guest
Nhlanhla Sithole

Hi Brittany please share your email address