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. Some 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.

You can learn more about CADIs on this website, and make sure to check out this episode of Red Table Talk with Jada Pinkett Smith. You can also discover some of the other recent media attention Accidental Impacts has received.

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. We believe that CADI’s face three challenges:

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

Accidental Impacts Peer Support Opportunities

We offer 3 options for peer support in addition to this website. They allow those who have inadvertently killed or injured someone to talk with others who share a similar experience, for purposes of mutual support, information-sharing, and encouragement. For more information, email us at [email protected].

  • Our monthly fellowship meetings occur via Zoom the third Sunday of each month, from 2:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time (5:00 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Eastern time). Each meeting addresses a theme of interest to CADIs, such as self-compassion, post-traumatic stress, various spiritual or religious perspectives, and various therapeutic modalities.
  • Expressive Writing (sometimes referred to as Writing to Heal) is based on research and clinical studies about writing as a way of coping with trauma. After a short introduction, participants spend about 20 minutes writing in response to a prompt and then reconvene for discussion. We are not expected to share the content of our writing but rather to discuss insights or questions emerging from it. Expressive Writing generally meets on alternative Sundays for one hour.
  • One-to-One Peer Support builds on the Accidental Impacts tradition of informal, one-to-one communications in between structured meetings, as CADIs meet and relate to one another in fellowship and expressive writing. Peer supporters are CADIs who, through their own experience, have learned valuable lessons about trauma, coping, and growth, which they are willing to share from the standpoint of their own experience, strength, and hope. The relationship between peers gives both parties the opportunity to reflect on their experience, learn, and grow.

These peer support opportunities are not a substitute for professional behavioral health treatment, counseling, or therapy. We recommend that all CADIs receive professional psychotherapy.

Accidental Impacts Mission & Values

Accidental Impacts started out as a modest website and over the past decade has grown to reach a worldwide audience. In 2019 we became a not-for-profit corporation in the State of California. Today, in addition to this website, we offer an array of programs and services including monthly fellowship meetings, expressive writing opportunities, peer support, and outreach. We are the only organization worldwide serving the needs of those who have unintentionally killed or seriously injured other people.

Our mission: Accidental Impacts alleviates the suffering of those who have unintentionally harmed others.

Our core values:
We treat others & ourselves with honesty & integrity.
We approach our work with compassion for ourselves & others.
We accept responsibility for our past actions & for our current healing & growth.
We recognize that healing is both psychological & spiritual.
We recognize community as a source of support for ourselves & others; we commit to building community with & among those we serve.

For information about our Board of Directors, click here.

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Jenny
Jenny
1 day ago

My 16 yr old was in a horrible accident that took the life of a man on a motorcycle. She was doing everything right as a drive (going the speed limit, not on her phone, not under any influence) – it was truly a horrific accident. What do we do as far as her grief for this man? Do we send flowers to the funeral? Does she write a letter? What is the right step? He was speeding and not wearing a helmet (and we are waiting on his toxocology)

Ryan
Ryan
7 days ago

Hi, for 17 years I’ve never had my own voice about something horrible which altered my life. So here this goes. When I was 17 years of age I was driving my vehicle with my girlfriend in the passenger. Long story short, I ended up falling asleep behind the wheel as she was already asleep. I ran off the road and and she died on impact… I won’t get into details but for years I’ve felt pain and anger towards myself. Towards the world. Towards everything. My family kept it all quiet, as it got brought down to a dangerous… Read more »

Eric
Eric
16 days ago

Hello. I have been having a very hard time getting over the pain and guilt of accidentally hurting someone in a car accident. The accident happened a year ago. I was driving in the morning and I was feeling sleepy or drowsy. I didn’t notice a car in front of me stopped at a red light and I ended up rear ending them. The woman was pregnant and had a child with her in the back seat. At the time of the accident the kid was crying, but not hurt. The woman was not hurt and even drove off when… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
9 days ago
Reply to  Eric

Hi Eric – Thank you so much for sharing your story. The pain of unintentional harm is real and serious, seeking this advice is smart of you. Two things come to mind. First, seek a therapist. He/She can help you put things into perspective and give you coping skills that can make you feel better. Your feelings are your feelings, and while others may try to minimize what you’ve been through, you are the ultimate judge of the depth of your pain. Second, we still know little about what harm you may or may not have caused. Life is hard… Read more »

Sarah
Sarah
21 days ago

Hi everyone. I just wanted to say how wonderful it was for me to meet some of you last Sunday at the fellowship meeting. I finally felt like I found exactly what I’ve been looking for these last 8 months since my accident. I was finally looking and speaking to people who truly know exactly how I am feeling and how events like this change you. I’m looking forward to the next meeting seeing you all again, and continuing this journey to hopefully heal. Thank you all again!
Sarah Love

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
9 days ago
Reply to  Sarah

Sarah –

What a kind note! Thank you. Our group is all the better having you as a member. May your healing move forward as we all help one another along the gentle path of recovery.

Chris+

Garet
Garet
22 days ago

Found this site last night , don’t know how I feel about it yet but definitely felt a little comfort hearing about people who have gone through similar situations. 5 year ago on Christmas Eve my whole family was over celebrating, 6 of my young cousins & younger brother wanted to go check out my old tree house I’ve built in the back. Trying to be the fun cousin I said let’s go I’ll take y’all! We all walked our way out there and just be safe I made them all stand back as I checked the tree house to… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
9 days ago
Reply to  Garet

Hi Garet – Thank you so much for sharing this heart-wrenching story – I can’t imagine all you’ve gone through. However, as a fellow unintentional killer, I do know how important it is to be good to yourself. Trying to gain control of the guilty feelings, penitential self-flagellation, and heart-felt regret is so hard – and you are wise for seeking therapy. While you express regret about not getting help sooner, at least you are getting/got help. You are still very young (I’m 60) and you have many years for the healing to take root – be patient with yourself… Read more »

Delia
Delia
25 days ago

Back in November, I accidentally killed a homeless man who ran in front of my car. I posted about it on here right around that time. I am still devastated over it. I spent six months staying quiet about how much shame and guilt I felt because EVERY SINGLE PERSON would say “it wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t feel guilty” any time I talked about it. Or they’d give the sad eyes whenever I would mention I was having a hard time. Sometimes, even now, they even interrupt me to tell me it wasn’t my fault. I think we all… Read more »

Heidi
Heidi
25 days ago
Reply to  Delia

Hi! I had a such a similar situation to yours that it was almost scary to read this. Mine will have happened 4 years ago in August. Some days are still rough but I’m proud of you for getting help. You will feel better, not the same, but better in the long run. Don’t forgot that. ❤️

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
19 days ago
Reply to  Delia

Hi Delia – Thank you so much for commenting! There are so many of us who are experiencing similar feelings/situations and to hear you articulate these things is a comfort to more than you will know. I think it’s important to note that a prime mover for people who tell you ‘Get over it, it’s not your fault’ is their own discomfort being around a person in pain. It happens all the time. We feel uncomfortable around pain and want to get rid of it – and their dismissive attitude has less to do with what you’re going through and… Read more »

kim
kim
1 month ago

it’s been almost a year. 341 days. I was on the news in Oregon. They make me out to be a murderer, but I wasn’t charged in her death. Now my ex husband wants to tell my children, who are 9 and 11. I don’t want them to know. How do you tell your kids? She was suicidal. It was ruled a suicide. He is using this to abuse me. still, after all this time, he still has control, and is using this to make my children hate me. I don’t know what to do.

barbara
barbara
1 month ago
Reply to  kim

im sorry you are going through this, you should see a childrens therapist together to determine if thats necessary, and if so, an age appropriate way, in addition to having counseling available to them to process the info…i hope you see someone as well to deal with everything.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
1 month ago
Reply to  kim

Dear Kim – What an awful, awful experience! I am so sorry for you. Thank you for having the courage and heart to write about it. I agree with Barbara – make sure you involve your therapist and even a children’s therapist. It appears your ex is more interested in hurting you than in raising healthy children, which is another issue – but certainly germane. Know that this community cares about you and wants to help you cope and get through this in a healthy manner. Please come to our online fellowship meetings – you are not alone, and there… Read more »

Bonnie
Bonnie
1 month ago
Reply to  kim

Dear Kim, so very sorry you have to endure such a painful tragedy. My fatal accident which claimed the life of my best friend of 30 yrs. In 1996 took a huge toll on me and both family’s. My 6 and 19 yr old boys both knew about it but I tried not to talk about it around them. I was dieing inside and tried to act like life was normal All these years later after counseling, church, talking to others and this website, I’m finally able to move forward and forgive myself.. Looking back now I’m thinking it would… Read more »

Polly
Polly
26 days ago
Reply to  kim

I know how you feel. There will be alot of yps and downs in this. Stay strong

Drea
Drea
2 months ago

My son was in a fatal accident with a cyclist. He’s only 17 and he wasn’t at fault. The cyclist was on the wrong side of the rode coming down a mountain road at a fast speed, at a blind curve. It was terrible and traumatic. It’s been over a month and though he’s been seeing a therapist, it’s just not the right fit. How does one go about finding someone who deals with this type of trauma? I have Kaiser insurance and willing to try anyone, but it seems like I keep finding the same “how does that make… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Drea
Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
1 month ago
Reply to  Drea

Drea – Thanks so much for sharing this – yes, the pain of a child is often more hurtful than our own, so I feel for you as you look for the best for your teenager. You bring up a common problem: finding a good therapist! Especially in these COVID/Post-COVID times – with so many people demanding/needing therapy. It is a long slog to find the right fit and I commend you to keep it up. The right one will be worth it. Yes, the monthly support group may be good for him – to know that every 18 minutes… Read more »

Nicole
Nicole
1 month ago
Reply to  Drea

Hi Drea, I, unfortunately know exactly what your son is going thru. My accident happened 13 months ago and I can’t deny that I still struggle dealing with an accidental death. My accident was also with a cyclist and I just happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Tears, fear, heartbreak, anxiety as well as lots of anger consumed me but little by little my days continue to get better. I immediately sought out therapy, and only shared my story with 2 people that I trusted dearly. The PTSD is the worst especially in the beginning… Read more »

Heidi
Heidi
25 days ago
Reply to  Drea

I was also 17 when I had my accident! I’d love to talk if either of you ever need anything.

Laura
Laura
2 months ago

It happened this morning and the guilt is unbearable and I’ve been trying to find somewhere I can have someone relate or provide support. I was on my way to work, only a couple minutes away from my home and turning right. I wasn’t texting or distracted, my blinker was on. I was just doing a normal routine when in a split second I hear a bang, a yell, and my windshield shattered on the front left side of my car. I immediately put my car in park and got out and saw the bicyclist on the ground, yelling in… Read more »

Sue
Sue
1 month ago
Reply to  Laura

I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this. I had a similar experience and the officers at the scene have me some information about how to deal with the trauma of killing someone accidentally. From this list the one thing that helped me was talking about it. People wanted to talk about it and in talking about it I became detached. Cry and feel awful and then move on. You will think about the accident everyday for a few months for a few seconds.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
1 month ago
Reply to  Laura

Laura – Thank you so much for reaching out! You have found a cadre of like-experienced people here – something like your accident happens every 18 minutes – and that’s just in the U.S. As Maryann put it – the first stage we go through is often that of acute stress trauma – and do contact your therapist asap. The intrusive thoughts, assorted fears of litigation, and alienation from life as you used to know it are all common – but in most cases, you will come through this. You are young. You have much ahead of you. You have… Read more »

Abs
Abs
2 months ago

I was the sole driver in a fatal accident where a 21yo pedestrian perished. Such are the casualties of a crosswalk in a 55mph crosswalk… I thought I had made some peace but 5 years later I find myself adjacent to where I began

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
2 months ago
Reply to  Abs

Hi Abs-

Thanks for posting – you are not alone.

Getting over the trauma of taking another life – even accidentally lingers – sometimes forever. I would make sure you are seeing a therapist – and do come to any of our support group meetings – there’s one later this month – details are on this website.

Keep going on – you can find ways to cope – there is hope.

Chris+

Nomoreillwill
Nomoreillwill
2 months ago

Several years ago, my best friend was killed in a traffic accident. I have gotten to the point that I no longer want the driver to suffer in jail the rest of his life, like I did earlier. I would like to contact the young man and find out how he’s doing. I think that’s what my friend ultimately would have wanted. The problem is that the news never identified the driver and I can’t find the case online. I tried contacting his family to find out the driver’s name and they became very upset and told me never to… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
2 months ago
Reply to  Nomoreillwill

Hi Nomoreillwill (love the ID!) Thank you so much for posting this story of compassion and forgiveness. There are so many complexities involved in your situation here and it sounds like you’ve gotten some traction regarding contacting family members – were these the family members of the victim or the perpetrator? I would imagine that your state prison system has a communications spokesperson you can contact, and I would ask them. This is public information – your tax dollars paid this guy’s room and board. There are also online databases that help you find the incarcerated as these are public… Read more »

GVR
GVR
2 months ago

I was involved in a traumatic incident yesterday when a homeless person walked in front of my car on a very busy highway. I believe they died upon impact. I contacted my therapist right away who actually specializes in trauma and we did a EDMR session about 36 hours after the accident. It was very helpful and I got a lot of benefit and peace from it. She said it’s important to get it done as soon as possible after the traumatic incident. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who is going through trauma and is looking for help processing… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
2 months ago
Reply to  GVR

Hi GVR –

How harrowing!

I am so sorry this happened to you! You are far ahead of the curve by not just having a therapist already but by engaging in EDMR that was helpful. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your experiences here – we learn best from people who’ve been where we’ve been.

I hope and pray you continue to feel at peace – and we are here if we can help in any way!

Chris+

Andrea
Andrea
2 months ago

I’m grateful to have found this. Yesterday my 3yo tested positive for COVID and the night before we had lots of friends and their toddlers over. We were mostly outside but there were moments where the kids were inside unmasked. My daughter had a few close contacts earlier in the week at daycare and we neglected to tell our friends before hosting everyone. I’m so afraid that we’ll spread it! I’m mostly worried about a friend who is pregnant and due on Thursday. If she or her toddler gets it it could be awful for them! Even if it’s mild… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
2 months ago
Reply to  Andrea

Hi Andrea – Thank you for your post – and for being so transparent about your feelings! We all harbor them and to know we’re in good company helps. And I am so sorry this happened – how painful for you! We all make mistakes, some, however, are unforgettable. If you’re not in therapy, I recommend it. This sticky, intrusive thoughts can really haunt us and hinder us from being who we want to be – and finding effective strategies for coping with them can be lifesaving. It’s important to remember that we live in an accidental world: every 18… Read more »

Cam
Cam
3 months ago

I myself was involved in a car accident in which a pedestrian ran out from behind a bus which resulted in him passing away . It has been 3 weeks and I just can’t escape the guilt . The family has reached out to me via the police to send their love and hold no malice . It seems my family and friends ask me how I’m going but it just doesn’t seem like anyone really cares (I don’t know how else to explain) . Trauma counseling was to me a waste of a phone call and I don’t know… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
2 months ago
Reply to  Cam

Hi Cam – I am so sorry you had to go through this. Taking the life of another is absolutely devastating. Like you, I am living with the same burden of accidentally taking the life of another. In fact, 30,000 people accidentally kill someone every year. So please know that you are not alone. After only a few weeks you are in what we call the ‘early stages’ of your recovery. If you’re like most of us, you’re traumatized – stunned, destabilized, distressed. It’s really important for you to be good to yourself. Very few humans can take the life… Read more »

Abs
Abs
2 months ago
Reply to  Cam

I was the driver in similar circumstances. It was 5 years ago but I’m still struggling to come to terms with the events and how to label myself

Stanley
Stanley
3 months ago

I’m curious how many others are having relationship difficulties from their accidents, years after? My accident was over 20 years ago, my wife and I were newly married at the time and our way of dealing with it was to just sorta push through it. We dealt with the legal proceedings head on, then just sorta went on about life. Now, 24 years later, there are issues going on that my therapist believes ties directly to the fact that we never truly dealt with the emotional impact of my accident. I have been in and out of mild bouts of… Read more »

Jeff
Jeff
3 months ago
Reply to  Stanley

Hi. My incident took place 25 years ago, but certainly still gives me grief. I just split with my girl of 7 years because of my issues. I’ll be living in my camper van for a month or two. Insomnia, quick temper, not finding joy in things that I should were all contributing factors. She is a great person. It was no secret that my trauma was hard on our relationship. We love eachother, but she is not happy because I am not happy. Tanja is her name. This was a much better and more loving relationship than my last.… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Stanley

Hey Stanley! Thank you so much for raising this topic. Many people simply don’t understand the severity of trauma that one can experience – they often feel ‘Well, I can get over it, why can’t you?’ They think that ‘time heals all’ so if you’ve experienced something a long time ago, you’re good. So this kind of thinking is not uncommon at all. When coping with a loving partner who’s not getting it, it may make sense to draw an analogy with something you support for her but don’t understand – just to show that you don’t have to understand… Read more »

Sue
Sue
3 months ago

On Friday, I was making a right hand turn and unbeknownst to me the passenger door of the car in front of me on the driver’s side had opened. A 3-year-old baby fell out of the car and I drove over her The little girl was not in a car seat, not in a seat belt and clearly the safety Lock for the door was not engaged. She died. There was another baby in the car also not in a seatbelt. He did not fall out. I’m not being charged with anything. I did nothing wrong. It’s not my fault.… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Sue
Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Sue

Sue! What an absolute tragedy and I am so sorry for you and the victims. I am also so glad you spoke up. Every 18 minutes someone accidentally kills someone in the U.S. You are not alone – and those who suffer most are likely those who talk about it least. So great you’re in therapy. Average people are compassionate and loving and taking a life hits us. Immediately. In 6 months. In 2 years. But it hits us. And therapy is a ‘best bet’ for coping. Victimization is often a way to displace the anger and emotion that has… Read more »

Abs
Abs
2 months ago
Reply to  Sue

I know how you feel. I wish I had an answer but I can only offer understanding and acceptance. Sometimes we are both victims of circumstances and unwitting perpetrators.

Christine
Christine
4 months ago

I’m 19. My birthday will be coming up soon but it’s also the one year anniversary of getting into one of the worst accidents of my life. I was making a left turn and hit a car which then caused another car to rear end that car. Thankfully no one was severely hurt/died, but I remember that sinking feeling of not feeling like this was real and that it had to be some sort of bad dream. I admitted fault because I just felt terrible and I didn’t want to deny what I did because I knew what I did.… Read more »

barbara
barbara
3 months ago
Reply to  Christine

im so sorry – your moms reaction was extreme and unwarranted – do you still live at home? have you discussed her behavior with your therapist? you are a good person, you just made a mistake.

Christine
Christine
3 months ago
Reply to  barbara

Thank you, I do still live at home and I have discussed her behavior with a therapist. If it weren’t for my dad being so supportive, I don’t know what I would do. My mom ended up apologizing for her behavior after I called her out on it, but even so I find it so hard to believe since she’s always been hurtful.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Christine

Hi Christine!
Thank you so much for telling us your story! Fighting these intrusive thoughts and carrying on with life can be that debilitating: you are not alone. You are doing the right thing by continuing with your therapy.
By the degree of sorrow and empathy, you certainly are a caring person – and I commend you for coming this far.
Do try to attend our upcoming fellowship meetings – knowing we’re not alone really helps.
Praying for you!
Chris+

Lucy
Lucy
2 months ago
Reply to  Christine

Christine, you are not just a good person but a remarkable one. As you say, you held it together, checked on everyone involved, spoke to the man’s wife… many people simply couldn’t have done any of that, and you were/are very young to have to cope with it too. Then you had to deal with your friends’ accident and help there when you were suffering horrible flashbacks etc, but again you did it. Clearly your mum’s difficulty with supporting and helping you adds to your pain, but that is her problem not yours. And again, you had the strength and… Read more »

Todd
Todd
4 months ago

In 2017 i accidentally killed a woman in a pickup truck with a stay bullet from a handgun. Although it was considered an freak accident as the bullet traveled almost 2 football Fields threw woods. Yes, that’s extremely far for a handgun. It was a downhill shot from pretty high up. Basically as the bullet dropped so did the hill. I’ve made attempts to apologize to the family but was greeted with hostility & anger. Completely understandable. I still think to this day I’ll pay the karma for taking a life. As i read threw the comments just remember my… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Todd

Hi Todd-
Thank you so much for sharing this, and I’m so sorry your attempts at apology were not successful. The telling of our stories to others is so important. As the saying goes, you’re as sick as your secrets – and your bravery at sharing this is a step in the right direction and a witness to others.
Please take care of yourself – do continue/get counseling. Your voice is very valuable!
Chris+

DawnMarie Elliott
DawnMarie Elliott
4 months ago

My brother was fatally hit by a car 2 years ago while riding his electric scooter. He had been drinking and the driver was not found at fault. Would it be helpful for me to write the driver and let her know that as my brothers only living relative I do not bear her any ill will? He was very unhappy and even suicidal at times as he fought addiction. Or should I just leave it be?

DawnMarie Elliott
DawnMarie Elliott
3 months ago
Reply to  mgray

Thank you for your response.

Tracy Ferrer
Tracy Ferrer
4 months ago

Hi,
Me being a driver that this exact thing happened to me ( my person was on foot and drunk/high) would love to hear from you. My advice is is just reach out, but caution on having a continuing relationship. I tried that with the mother of the man and all she wanted was money. She tried three times and I had to block her. Very heartbreaking. Does not help me heal with that kind of relationship.
Best wishes, you have a wonderful heart!
Tracy

DawnMarie Elliott
DawnMarie Elliott
3 months ago
Reply to  Tracy Ferrer

Thank you for your response, I am sorry your experience went so wrong.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago

Hey DawnMarie-

Thank you so much for posting – we rarely get comments like this one – of victims/victim’s families wanting to assuage the suffering of the perpetrator. I think you have the potential of really making that driver’s life much more bearable – less anxious – and it may very well be the best gift that driver has ever received.

Thank you so much for thinking of the other person with such compassion and kindness.

Chris+

DawnMarie Elliott
DawnMarie Elliott
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris Yaw

Thank you for responding to me.

Jeff
Jeff
4 months ago

Ive been reading these posts. I truly feel for you all. I caused the death of my best friend at 15 years old. I’m nearly 40. He was a passenger on my motorcycle and sustained a catastrophic head injury when I crashed. The image burned into my brain is vivid and gruesome. For 25 years I tried to cope with it on my own and in my own way. Everyone told me “it’s not your fault “, and I thought that was enough. I can’t stand hearing that now. I have sever, but undiagnosed ptsd. It has ruined every job… Read more »

Tati
Tati
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Hi Jeff, I’m sorry about your tragic accident. I’m here because my son too accidentally took a life of his best friend 2 years ago when he was 17. I’m trying any way I can to help him, he’s not the same. he’s so lost, depressed, he can’t sleep because of flashbacks, he’s always angry and he did so much damage to his body. He’s been charged with manslaughter and is facing serious time. I do hope you find your way and get better. hope things work out in your life.The most important thing is ‘ Don’t Give Up on… Read more »

Jeff
Jeff
4 months ago
Reply to  Tati

I’m so sorry to hear about your son’s situation. My heart goes out to him, and you. It hits close to home. I didn’t do any jail time, but was charged with negligent homiced at 15 years old. The law says “this is your fault “….He will punish himself more than the courts ever could. I understand the nightmares, very well. The feeling of waking to it is indescribable. I was alone for the first time in 10 year after one just the other night. The feeling of emptiness in the middle of the night is such a gross feeling.… Read more »

Tati
Tati
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Dont say you’re “not a success story” because you still young and have you whole life in front of you. If you’re not dead God is not done. I tell my son this and I repeat always if needed. I would love to talk to you more, anytime you want please feel free to email me. I’m trying to learn everything I can and this page is the best thing I found. I’ve been reading books about PTSD and I google about it too. I’m sorry you had to go through this in such young age and without enough support,… Read more »

Jeffery
Jeffery
3 months ago
Reply to  Tati

Thank you, Tati Your kind words are comforting. I wish your son the best. He has been on my mind a bit lately. Life is an experience…a game. Sometimes I feel like I was dealt a bad hand, but that’s not the right way to think about it. Remind your son, he was not dealt a bad hand, he is just playing this life game on the hardest level. He can still win, and be proud of it. That’s helps me when I feel bad. I spent my 40th birthday alone yesterday because of my breakup…shared friends, and actually shared… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Hey Jeff – What a story – and it really shows how we have a hard time OVER TIME. I think our well-meaning friends/family like to think this is something from which we eventually heal – but it’s not. We find ways not to heal, but to cope. It sounds like you’re doing a lot of the right things – esp therapy and reaching out like this. If you haven’t been to our monthly Fellowship meetings I highly recommend them. Sometimes the only thing we can do is sit in this crap – and it helps to do so with… Read more »

Jeffery
Jeffery
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris Yaw

Chris, You are an absolute angel, my friend. What you have chosen to do with your experience is amazing…and very much NEEDED. This is a niche that desperately needs to be filled.. Ever since my incident I’ve felt like I’ve gone at it completely alone. Like no person, or not enough people could ever understand. Folk like us are not too common and tend to slip through the cracks. This group is amazing…what you are doing is to be commended. I imagine it is quite rewarding as well. Your insights into the experience of CADIs are priceless. These events remind… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Jeffery

OMG – thank you so much Jeffery for making my day! And yes, we on the Accidental Impacts board think that this subject needs to be talked about far and wide as there are too many people suffering in silence. Thanks again for the kind words and I look forward to meeting you soon –

Chris+

Charlie
5 months ago

I have a story of causing a death, together with my Dad, in January 1997, that I would like to share. I was 13 at the time and we were driving back to London from a New Year trip. I had this soft toy dog I called Eric with me (I think he was meant as a Snoopy but I liked to be different!). About half way through the journey I began scrabbling around in the back ofthe car, convinced I had lost him. We’d stopped off at a pool for a swim about 40 mins previously, so I convinced… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Charlie

Hi Charlie. What a story. I am so sorry for the victim, the victim’s family, for your dad and for you. It is out of pain that this family sent your dad such a cruel card – hurt people, hurt people — and I am so sorry this family is so vindictive. Their decision to share their pain in such a hurtful way speaks volumes, they are really injured. And we must have sympathy and empathy for them, we have no idea how deep their pain. And they are likely unaware of yours and your father’s.You must be gentle with… Read more »

Brian
Brian
5 months ago

Hi My name is Brian. One of my family members accidentally took somenes life recently. I can’t imagine what he’s going through but I see it has broken him. What are some ways to help him cope through this tragic time?

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Brian

Hey Brian-

Thank you so much for reaching out.

First think is to pass along this website — it’s low key and he can check it out on his own time. Second, if you can, suggest therapy. It’s the leading aid for accidental killers. Third, be there for him. Tell him/show him you care. Assure him that yes, this stinks, and your love will heal much.

If you can suggest our monthly fellowship meetings that can aid as well.

Thanks again Brian –

Chris+

Taylor
Taylor
5 months ago

I am a 30 year old male who had an unfortunate accident more than 5 years ago but it still haunts me to this day and I am scared for my future mentally and emotionally. After a night out with some friends I decided to “sleep off” my buzz on one of their couches. I woke up early in the morning and felt good enough to drive home. I was driving on a poorly lit highway and as I was turning right on my green light a cyclist came into the road and I was unable to stop in time… Read more »

Erin
Erin
5 months ago
Reply to  Taylor

Hi Taylor,

I am going through the same thing right now. My accident happened in Dec 2020 so I am still going through court proceedings.

I feel your pain and just know there are so many others that are going through the same thing. If you ever want to talk, i would love to hear from you. My email is [email protected].

This group is really amazing.

Erin

Emily
Emily
4 months ago
Reply to  Taylor

Hi Taylor. If you’d like to chat, email me at [email protected] I’d be more than happy to discuss this with you and provide supporf

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Taylor

Hey Taylor — What a story – You are to be commended for the upfront and honest way you have dealt with this, You are to be commended for writing out your story for the benefit of thousands of people who will anonymously read it (someone is accidentally killed ever 18 minutes in the U-S and this home page gets an average of 100 hits a day). You are to be commended for waking up each day and dealing with this to the best of your ability. You are to be commended for staying in relationship with family and friends… Read more »

Laura
Laura
3 months ago
Reply to  Taylor

Taylor – if you ever need to talk to someone who understands – email me.

Alison
Alison
5 months ago

My husband was driving home from fishing on Feb. 9. It was dark on I-5 northbound near Cottage Grove, Oregon, when a 27-year-old woman ran out in front of his moving vehicle and was killed. My husband is a kind, gentle 70-year-old, and this accident has wrecked him. His spirit is broken as he cannot come to grips with having taken a human life, even though it was not his fault. I feel as though two people died on the highway that night. I want to help him heal, but I don’t know how.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
5 months ago
Reply to  Alison

Hi Alison – What a tragedy – and what a wonderful wife you are for reaching out on his behalf. I am truly sorry for him and you – and recommend therapy to assist him. As we’ve studied accidental killing we often notice a period of trauma, at the beginning, in which life feels like a snow globe – someone’s picked it up, shaken it, and the world is upside down and disorienting. However, what we most often find, to press the analogy, is that the snow has a way of ceasing – things settle – and a newness is… Read more »

Alison
Alison
5 months ago
Reply to  Chris Yaw

Chris, I so appreciate your thoughtful reply! Nearly a month has passed, and Keith is getting better – baby steps! He’s back behind the wheel (albeit not at night) and is keeping busy with projects. We watch dumb stuff on TV, like Seinfeld reruns, and he laughs. He’s more himself. He can get together with friends now (initially not wanting to see anybody), and has gone to the VA for some counseling. I appreciate your invitation to the Zoom meeting. Can you tell me how that works? I think we’d both be interested. Thanks again!

Mary
Mary
6 months ago

Hi all…I know there have been many treatments suggested here, but has anyone ever done ACT therapy (Acceptance and Commitment therapy)? Thanks.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 months ago
Reply to  Mary

Hi Mary – I have not — but would like to hear how this works out for you – please keep us in the loop!
Chris+

byron
byron
6 months ago
Reply to  Mary

Haven’t done that. I’m currently doing EMDR. Not gonna lie, it’s taken me to a dark place.

Mary
Mary
6 months ago
Reply to  byron

Oh I am sorry to hear that. Have you told your therapist?

byron
byron
6 months ago
Reply to  Mary

Yes! It’s all part of the process is what i’m told.

Tori
Tori
6 months ago

Hello. I just wanted to come on here and say I am so so so so so sorry for the pain all of you are experiencing. I have not accidentally killed someone, so I cannot even begin to comprehend the pain you are all feeling, but I want you to know I empathize with and support all of you. You are all incredible people and my heart breaks thinking of the anguish you must all face everyday. I’ve read all of these comments to try and gain an understanding of this situation, and you are all so brave and so… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
2 months ago
Reply to  Tori

Hi Tori!

Thank you so much for your support! We in the CADI (Causing Accidental Death or Injury) wish there were more supportive people like you around – as we often feel guilty and ashamed – like we’re feeling judged by others. And your comments help us see that that’s not always true.

Chris+

Alex
Alex
6 months ago

Hi my name is alex. My life was completely normal one day and the next my wife is gone.. All I wanted to do was leave to go to my parents house because I didn’t wanna argue and I backed up and didn’t know she was there. I won’t go into full detail on how things occurred with the whole situation but I held her in my arms and told her how much I loved her and how sorry I am. I didn’t wanna let go of her. Now I’m doing the hardest thing I ever have to do in… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 months ago
Reply to  Alex

Hi Alex- OMG! How horrific. You are wise to cling to these positive moments and memories – I believe Amanda knows your sorrow and that is probably the most important person who needs to know. I echo what Maryann says – do seek an abundance of counseling. Don’t go this one alone. Find healthy ways to move through this – exercise, eating right, getting outside – you know what you need. And I pray you have the strength to turn away from all those false solutions – excessive alcohol, drugs, etc. You seem like a really caring and loving person… Read more »

Marie
Marie
6 months ago

This site is more than a blessing. For 3.5 years, I’ve never had a place or a person other than my fiancé to talk about the deep dark pain that accompanies an accidental loss. I tried to read everything I could on line and nothing fit our situation. I came across the Red Table Talk and I immediately jumped at the chance to watch it. I watched so intently and listening to the 4 individuals speak, it felt like there WAS support after all. I am the fiancé of an amazing man who had one of my best friends on… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 months ago
Reply to  Marie

Hi Marie – What a tragedy – but what resilience you have shown. You are really amazing to keep going – working, 4 kids – and being there for your fiancee. I am so sorry you’re going through this, it stinks. Please know we’re here monthly with our support group – and we do offer peer support, which partners you with another CADI and gives you a one-on-one relationship that can help you move through this chapter of your life. Most of all, I can’t recommend therapy enough. Do make time for it. Do make yourself a priority, You are… Read more »

Lou
Lou
6 months ago

Less than a week ago my 85.5-year-old father passed from covid. I was 24 hr. caregiver for him and my mother (both bedridden). He had dementia, heart, liver, kidney problems, diabetes, and lung damage. All 3 of us were fearful of the covid vaccines, so we decided not to get them. Last November he was hospitalized and needed minor surgery and was hospitalized for 4 days. No one in the family could see him because of covid. He was telling me he saw people in the room like my sister, brother-in-law, and quite a few others. I had to stay… Read more »

Eve
Eve
6 months ago
Reply to  Lou

So sorry for your loss. May you find comfort & strength. Courage & forgiveness.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 months ago
Reply to  Lou

Hey Lou! What a story! You are so resilient! You have been through so much! Ill relatives, selling your business, grieving your father. What a chain of tragedies. When we speak of resilience at Accidental Impacts we like to do so through the lens of gratitude. We are survivors. There is hope. So what I mean is that when we look at the things we’ve overcome – and for you it’s an awesome list – we do so understanding that you are still here. Through the care taking of family, the payment of rent, the minimal diet – you have… Read more »

Sarah
Sarah
7 months ago

In December 2010, when I was 16, I was involved in a single-car accident with two friends – one survived, the other did not. We were not under the influence and we wearing seatbelts, but I gave into peer pressure and chose to drive recklessly and speed down a soft-shouldered hilly road in wet weather. There is a major lapse in my memory as to exactly what happened, and all I remember is kneeling outside of the car turned upside down. For a few months after I experienced insomnia, dissociation, difficulty concentrating, and suicidal ideation. I continue to periodically have… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
7 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

Hi Sarah – Thank you so much for writing – and I am so sorry for what you went through and what you continue to experience – it’s tragic and it truly stinks. And while I don’t have an exact answer to your question, I do have a couple of thoughts. First off, kudos to you for self-care. So many, maybe even most people, who’ve gone through what you’ve gone through do not take the kind of therapeutic steps necessary to gain better control of their lives – so, well done – and it sounds like this is something you’re… Read more »

Mary
Mary
7 months ago

Just a general question for everyone. How long would you say it took you to ‘come to terms’ with what occurred due to your actions…be it moral injury, accidental death, injury, however these incidents occurred be it through an error in judgement, etc. Finding self forgiveness is such a tough thing. I often wonder if one ever really does wake up in the morning and just live again without the constant reminder of their mistake, Thanks.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
7 months ago
Reply to  Mary

Hi Mary — Great question. In my small world – anecdotally I think most people carry this weight for the duration of their lives. It does depend on the person regarding the amount of bandwidth this occupies and the runway upon which they can launch into a more healthy way of being in the world. I realize those answers may not be super-helpful, but I’ve known people who are severely impaired and those who are less so. A therapist can always help us develop ways of coping more positively and finding a place for these sticky thoughts. You are always… Read more »

Erin
Erin
7 months ago

12/18/20 was the worst day of my life. I made an unconscious decision to leave my home after I had been drinking. Soon after leaving, another car and mine hit head on. My car spun out over a sidewalk, hitting a brick wall. Everyone in the car was OK however when my car spun out onto the sidewalk, it hit 2 people- an 18 year old and 12 year old – they were brothers. The 18 year old passed away and the 12 year old had surgery but was able to recover thank God. I struggle everyday to be able… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Erin
Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
7 months ago
Reply to  Erin

Hi Erin – Thank you us much for writing — I am so sorry to hear this! I can’t imagine how devastated you are – and I commend you for continuing to go to therapy! Please take good notes – and hopefully you can continue therapy when you are incarcerated. I will certainly pray for you — as it must be so difficult to envision separation from you kids for so long. It sounds like you believe in God – and perhaps this is a God who promises to care for you and guide you. If this is the case… Read more »

Richard
Richard
7 months ago

Hi, I heard of your site, and just want to say how sorry I am that so many have gone through such truly awful experiences. I also hear a lot of strength and compassion here. About 40 years ago I was driving, and a young boy darted into the road, just a couple feet in front of my car. The fates were very much smiling on us that day, because he fully recovered and was released from the hospital. It was just dumb luck my wheel missed him. Yet still whenever I see a pedestrian carelessly walk into traffic (common… Read more »

Last edited 7 months ago by Richard
Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
7 months ago
Reply to  Richard

Hi Richard –

Thank you so much for sharing your story. And I am so happy that this accident did not turn out the way so many others do. Your feelings of gratitude and optimism are really helpful – and the fact that you’re extra considerate of pedestrians is a great way to find ways to learn and grow through this experience.

Sending you grace and peace,

Chris+

Mary
Mary
7 months ago

My situation is different because it was my husband who was charged with “involuntary manslaughter” for the death of our son (his step-son). My son was 16 yrs. old and didn’t have his seatbelt because he took it off to sleep sideways on his hip. Because of this accident my family is broken. I try not to show emotions of missing my son in front of my husband because it makes him feel guilty for causing my pain. I hate having to hide my feelings from the one person I should be leaning on the most. How do we both… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
7 months ago
Reply to  Mary

Hi Mary – Thank you so much for sharing this! And you are not alone. I, for one, share these haunting feelings – and the pain of hidden feelings – that can be really painful. I would, first off, recommend you get regular counseling. I know most people don’t like to hear this, but there likely are counselors near you that are affordable or even free, and I think this would be a great step for as you navigate these intrusive thoughts and find healthy ways to share and talk with your husband.You might also consider joining our monthly Fellowship… Read more »

Delia
Delia
7 months ago

On 11/3, I was driving under the influence and a homeless man walked in front of my vehicle. A woman witnessed and stayed with me, holding me and telling me it wasn’t my fault. I had to get a blood test but wasn’t in custody. The few days after the accident, I was so focused on trying to legally save my own life that I didn’t truly realize the extent of what had happened – that I was responsible for someone getting seriously hurt. The week after was when the guilt set in. I didn’t know if the guy was… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
7 months ago
Reply to  Delia

Hi Delia – What a heartfelt story – thanks so much for sharing it! Regarding your questions, I think that every day we are re-defined. Each encounter with each person, in small and subtle ways, changes us. And when we experience something as traumatic as accidental death, certainly it adds to the shaping and molding that life does to us. But shaping is different than defining. You are not the worst thing you’ve ever done. Period. Our work is to have the best thing we’ve ever done define us. My friends tell me the same thing about my accident ‘It… Read more »

Delia
Delia
6 months ago
Reply to  Chris Yaw

Thank you so much for your kind words, Chris. I will definitely join the next one.

Rowonda
Rowonda
7 months ago

Hi, I hit a pedestrian crossing a 4-lane street. I saw him when he stepped off the curb and he hadn’t looked either way before starting to cross. He made it to the median, turned and ran in the direction he came from. I wanted to avoid him. To my right was a telephone pole and my mom was in the passenger seat. To my left were oncoming cars. I was left with a split second decision no one should have to make. The pedestrian died at the hospital seven hours after the accident. This happened 27 years ago.

Last edited 7 months ago by Rowonda
Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
7 months ago
Reply to  Rowonda

Oh Rowonda – What a tragedy. I am so sorry you had to go through this. And what a sticky memory it is. The depth of our sadness over these things betrays the depth of our compassion and humanity. I hope you have sought counseling – but it’s never too late if you haven’t – there are wonderful therapies out there. I hope you know that we are more than our accidents. We need not be judged by the worst things we’ve done. And you are loved and valued by many more people than you know (we all are). Please… Read more »

Michele
Michele
7 months ago

Hi. I shot and killed my best friend by accident w my mothers loaded gun 37 years ago. I was 13 and Jen was 12. I have never really delt w this properly.
I’ve always wanted to talk and help others but I never had a chance too.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
7 months ago
Reply to  Michele

Oh Michele!

I am so sorry to hear this – what a tragedy.

I hope you are finding resources and understanding/caring voices here. I hope you will come to our next Gathering this weekend – we’ll meet for 90minutes to encourage and share in ways that can hopefully be helpful to you.

I strongly suggest you seek psychotherapy and find ways to express your heart. There are really effective ways to help us get over these things.

Sending you many prayers and good thoughts!

Chris+

Tati Martins
Tati Martins
5 months ago
Reply to  Michele

Hi Michele, I would love to talk to you if possible. My 17 year old son is going to prison for the same thing, a tragic accident that killed his best friend. My son is in a really bad shape and two families are broken. I always look for people who went through the same or similar situation to talk to. I’m going to leave my email if you feel in your heart you can message me. Thank you very much! [email protected]

Ann K
Ann K
7 months ago

I belong to a group of people out there carrying a burden that becomes so heavy and hard at times, I have a child with multiple severe food allergies. The problem with raising a child who can die from a bite of wheat like in bread or cake or egg or nuts is that the child’s primary caregiver has to be hypervigilant always. For me, that has meant learning a whole new way of cooking and living. He is our youngest and has 2 older siblings who have no allergies, This means juggling allergy and non allergy foods everyday. This… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
7 months ago
Reply to  Ann K

Hi Ann- Thank you so much for writing this! I am so sorry you have to be so hypervigilant — that you are in such a precarious situation. It must be so difficult. I would suggest you seek some sort of psychotherapy. There are many strategies available to help those sticky thoughts and images become less threatening. Finding people to talk about these things (like the good folks here at AI) can be helpful too – do come join us for our regular Fellowship meetings – there’s one this weekend — 90minutes from 5-630p EST. Please know you are NOT… Read more »

Lucy
Lucy
6 months ago
Reply to  Ann K

Hi Ann, reading your post reminded me of the writer Maggie O’Farrell, whose daughter has sever allergies. She wrote a very good essay about it which you might find helpful. It’s free to read at

https://goop.com/fr-en/wellness/parenthood/more-than-just-a-collection-of-symptoms-raising-kids-who-are-chronically-ill/

Sending you hugs and courage.

Anonymous
Anonymous
7 months ago

Hello, I hope it’s ok to come from a different perspective. My partner was driving his children back to their mothers last year, when a young man ran across the road. The reports locally are that he was committing suicide. My partner hit him and he died a day later. My partner is the one going through the emotions but it’s affecting me in the sense I don’t know what to do to be there for him. I always let him know that I’m here and always will be. But we are loving in fear of people knowing it was… Read more »

byron
byron
7 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

I know for me, one of the first things I learned was to stop asking “why?”. That will never stop if you don’t stop it first. What helped me was to just accept that for some reason, fate put me in that place at that time, and i had no control over it. It is what it is.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
7 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Hey There- Thanks so much for posting This situation is similar to the one Darin Strauss went through – and wrote about quite eloquently in his great book ‘Half a Life.’ The teen he hit on a bike, it was later discovered, had just written in her diary, that she was going to commit suicide that day, and Darin, like your partner, was the chosen method… Anyway, you and your partner are in pain. It stinks. It is not a good place to be. I am sorry. I offer my prayers and support and I am here if you want/need… Read more »

Michelle L
Michelle L
8 months ago

MY WALK WITH GRIEF Grief is many things. It’s anger, sorrow, hopelessness, and sleepless nights. Sometimes it’s a dull ache you can almost forget. Other times it’s a sharp knife ripping something deep in your chest. Tonight it hurts like hell. Baby loss isn’t something that just happened at one tragic day in our lives years ago. It is something that we carry with us as we endure each and every day and special occasion that comes and goes without our daughter here with us. And it’s all my fault. Every milestone that should have been achieved is locked away,… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
8 months ago
Reply to  Michelle L

Dear Michelle, Thank you so much for taking the time to detail your loss and subsequent pain. It is so important for us not to keep things bottled up, not to put on masks, and to sincerely articulate how we are feeling. We know this is therapeutic for ourselves, and by doing this you have given a gift to others as well. Many people in this space talk about healing but the truth is we are simply interested in coping. You have, group of hopeful, encouraging people, at our best. And we will substantiate your paint with our own, agreeing… Read more »

Em Lauren
Em Lauren
8 months ago

I’m really glad I found this site. Thank you to everyone who has shared their experiences here, although I’m sincerely sorry that any of you have gone through them. It helps to feel a little less alone. I’ve never told anyone about this, so I apologize that this came out in real time. In 2009, I was visiting my grandparents. They were preparing to move closer to my Mom, out of state, and I was supposed to be there helping with general day-to-day cleaning. My grandma was one of the few family members who had been unconditionally supportive and openly… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
8 months ago
Reply to  Em Lauren

Hi Em- And wow. You are an amazing woman. To go through all you’ve gone through – to endure relentless trauma after trauma – you are a woman of great resilience and fortitude. Malcolm Forbes famously said that humans tend to undervalue who they are and overvalue others. And this is always so important to hear and re-hear: your story is so full of care and concern for those around you which betrays the depth of love you have for them. You wouldn’t feel so bad if you weren’t such a good person. So thank you so much for sharing… Read more »

Verna
Verna
8 months ago

Hello, I have never taken part in a support group. Thank you all for sharing your traumatic personal stories. I was 17 when I met my amazing boyfriend. Two years later, he passed. This is the part when I feel angry. 19. “She is so young. She is only 19. She could find a new boyfriend. Well it wasn’t a ‘serious’ relationship. She wasnt married to him.”…. But to me it was. To me, James was extremely kind and full of life. He had an old soul, but of course he was reckless. He almost went pro in BMX. We… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
8 months ago
Reply to  Verna

Hi Verna – Thank you so much for sharing this – and I am so sorry for your loss. It is awful. And I can only imagine the guilt and shame you feel. The best advice is always to seek professional guidance through a psychotherapist. Your burden is a huge and heavy load, especially during COVID. The good news is that you and I have a community of people here who have done what we’ve done and whose wisdom can inform us. There is reason for hope. People who’ve done what we’ve done have gone on to live another day… Read more »

James
James
8 months ago

A few years ago, it was the end of January and it was a early, misty morning, as it had rained the night before. I was working as a barista at a small coffee shop one town over from where I lived. I had to be in at 6:30am and usually I was in a rush getting to work on time but this particular morning, I had woken up about an hour earlier than I usually did. I got ready for work, kissed my girlfriend goodbye and left about 20 minutes earlier than I would on a normal day. I… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
8 months ago
Reply to  James

James – What a powerful story. I am so sorry you have to endure this. It is horrible. However, you are correct in that you’ve found a community of people to whom this story has great resonance. While we cannot know exactly how you feel, we do feel for you in a very strong way and are here for you as you continue the journey toward greater self-understanding, acceptance, and forgiveness. You are not alone because this happens to about 35,000 Americans every year – it is that common. What I glean from your story is that you are a… Read more »

Sarah
Sarah
8 months ago

My husband and I were teen parents and had really struggled through parenting, marriage, and just figuring out life together. In 2019, our kids were grown and we got a new house. Life seemed to be absolutely perfect for the first time ever- I got pregnant and it was this fairytale come true. On December 29, 2019 my husband and son were doing some construction work at our neighbor’s house. They had finished the work and my husband made my son drive while he rode on the tailgate home (something my husband has probably done a thousand times in his… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
8 months ago
Reply to  Sarah

Hey Sarah – Boy, what a tough, tough situation you’re in – I’m so sorry to hear of your battle here. In the midst of a trauma of this nature I can only imagine how common it must be for us to help the victim: your husband, and neglect the CADI (def: person who Causes Accidental Death or Injury), your son. Of course it does no good to dwell on the ‘I should have…’ (aka shoulding all over yourself), it does help you identify an aspect of your pain that a professional can help you deal with. Meanwhile, your inquiry… Read more »

Brian
Brian
8 months ago

It was the day after Christmas in 2012. I was 22 years old and visiting family. My 2-year-old niece was sharing a room with me that night. I had left the bedroom door cracked so my dog could go in and out. The back door was not secured and could easily be pushed open by anyone. I remember my niece trying to wake me very early and leaving the room but I thought nothing of it and went back to sleep. I was woken again by panic in the house as my sister was looking for my niece but could… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Brian
Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
8 months ago
Reply to  Brian

Hi Brian – What a devastating story. I am so sorry you had to go through this and, because I have done the same thing, can somewhat imagine your pain and guilt. I hope you and your family have sought psychotherapy as a response to this. You have deeply injured your soul. As you probably know, it’s called moral injury – it’s a violation of our moral code and the effects run deep and long. While these feelings almost never go away, we can find ways to deal with them in a healthy way and perhaps accomplish things that can… Read more »

Gina Rodriguez
Gina Rodriguez
6 months ago
Reply to  Brian

This is so sad, Brian. The first thing I thought was that you were so young; just barely out of childhood, and at that time we just don’t know these things can happen. It’s outside of our knowledge. I hope your family has forgiven you and I hope you can learn to forgive yourself.

Meranda L Rauch
Meranda L Rauch
8 months ago

I am not a CADI but I am in a relationship with somebody that is due to an accident when he was 12 he has become an addict due to this and mentally he is not in the healthiest place. He just went to jail again and I’m trying to find some literature to send to him can anybody point me in the right direction or even point me in the direction of where I could get some help with learning how to help him the right ways, the is best for him.

Last edited 8 months ago by Meranda L Rauch
Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
8 months ago

Hi Meranda! I think that our ‘resources’ page has some good information for you as a supporter of a CADI. We always recommend that a first step for your loved one is to seek psychotherapy – which may or may not be possible in jail. But this can help him learn about the dynamics at work and give him a deeper understanding of healthy responses. It sounds like he is really hurting and he is lucky to have you in his life. Loving, supporting relationships are really important to our health. You would also be welcome to attend our monthly… Read more »

byron
byron
8 months ago

I just found this site, and i have to say, I think i’ve been searching for it for the last 23 years. I became a CADI in July of 1998, and for the past 23 years, i’ve felt like i’ve been searching for some sort of “family” that could understand what it’s like. My family, while very supportive, i don’t think can truly understand the mental, and emotional anguish i’ve dealt with. I’ve been lucky, I didn’t fall into a deep depression abs my faith kept me going. While obviously I realized i had to press on in life, there… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by byron
Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
8 months ago
Reply to  byron

Hi Byron! Thank you so much for reaching out – it testifies to the never-ending job we have of remembering those we’ve killed (may they rest in peace and their work never be forgotten) and the job we have of continually caring for ourselves. Yes, you have found a community of understanding and care. We believe we are not defined by the worst thing we’ve ever done but can cope and do productive things that can honor those we’ve harmed. I assume you’ve cruised around the site enough to see that there are ways to get involved in this movement… Read more »

Liz
Liz
8 months ago

Three and a half weeks ago I was driving to work in the dark about 6:30am. I live in a rural area where we have a highway and intersecting roads with stop signs. All of a sudden, I saw a man on a bicycle in front of my headlights. It was only for a split second and then I hit him going 55 mph. I will never forget the sound and the sight of his impact on my car. I braked right away and put the car in park. I was in a daze as I got out of my… Read more »

Jay
Jay
8 months ago
Reply to  Liz

Liz- I’m glad you found this page. It’s a tough road managing the trauma you’ve experienced, but it helps to be connected with people who understand and are going through the same thing. Be gentle with yourself and reach out for help.

Lea
Lea
9 months ago

I have previously posted about my CADI experience. It happened in April of 2020. I ran over an individual that was laying across my lane in a poorly lit curve on a rainy night. I can’t stress enough the importance of having an outlet. Whether it is through sharing your experience here, being part of a support group, sharing with a “willing” friend, journaling, or seeing a professional. It took several months before I could pass the mile marker without intense anxiety that often affected my whole body. I remember the first time I missed it. The first time I… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
8 months ago
Reply to  Lea

Hi Lea!

What great advice – thank you so much for posting on this. 100% agree.

Chris+

Erik
Erik
9 months ago

One year ago, in a dark, troubled and hopeless state of mind, my reckless behavior while driving under the influence, caused a senseless tragedy to occur. Unfortunately, an innocent and unsuspecting person is no longer here and their family is left to endure the consequences. I can only imagine and attempt to empathize with the immensely traumatic grief, pain and suffering I have selfishly and so unfairly imposed upon them. I allowed my judgement to be inhibited in a catastrophic manner and as desperately as I wish I could go back and make different decisions or trade places with them,… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Erik
Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
8 months ago
Reply to  Erik

Erik –

Wow.

This is an incredible missive. I am inspired by your transparency and openness – your penitence and empathy. But I am most impressed with your hope. People who have suffered much less have not made it this far.

Godspeed in your continued journey to affirm that you are not your crime, you are not your worst action, you are not your greatest trauma. You are a child of God, made in the image of love, and may you have continued bravery and courage to always, always, hope.

Chris+

Michelle L
Michelle L
8 months ago
Reply to  Erik

Thank you. That is all I can muster…thank you for that perfectly timed vulnerable honest and loving display! Thank you.