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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Andrea
Andrea
3 days 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
1 day 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
14 days 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
1 day 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 »

Stanley
Stanley
1 month 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
1 month 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
25 days 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
1 month 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 1 month ago by Sue
Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
25 days 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 »

Christine
Christine
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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+

Todd
Todd
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
22 days ago
Reply to  mgray

Thank you for your response.

Tracy Ferrer
Tracy Ferrer
1 month 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
22 days ago
Reply to  Tracy Ferrer

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

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
25 days 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
22 days ago
Reply to  Chris Yaw

Thank you for responding to me.

Jeff
Jeff
1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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
29 days 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
22 days 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
20 days 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
20 days 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
15 days 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
2 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
20 days 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
2 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
25 days 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
2 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
2 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
1 month 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
20 days 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
18 days ago
Reply to  Taylor

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

Alison
Alison
3 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
2 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
2 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 months ago
Reply to  byron

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

byron
byron
3 months ago
Reply to  Mary

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

Tori
Tori
3 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
1 day 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
4 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
4 months ago
Reply to  Lou

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

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
3 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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
4 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 4 months ago by Erin
Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
4 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
4 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 4 months ago by Richard
Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
4 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
4 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
4 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
5 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
4 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
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris Yaw

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

Rowonda
Rowonda
5 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 5 months ago by Rowonda
Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
4 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
5 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
5 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
2 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
5 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
5 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
3 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
5 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
5 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
5 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
6 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
5 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
6 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
5 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
6 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
5 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
6 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
5 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
6 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
5 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
6 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 6 months ago by Brian
Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 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
3 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
6 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 6 months ago by Meranda L Rauch
Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 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
6 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 6 months ago by byron
Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 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
6 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
5 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
6 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
6 months ago
Reply to  Lea

Hi Lea!

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

Chris+

Erik
Erik
6 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 6 months ago by Erik
Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 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
6 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.

Robin B.
Robin B.
6 months ago

I caused an accident in the home when i was 12, that killed my 3 year old brother. It was 1972 and all these years later…my family never talked about it, I’ve never discussed it seriously with anyone. It haunts me. Where do I even begin with this?

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 months ago
Reply to  Robin B.

Hi Robin – You just did – Thank you for reaching out to a community of folk who’ve done the same thing and can likely ‘get’ you better than many others can. The truth is that when we cause accidents of this magnitude we don’t ever forget it – sometimes we don’t ever get over it – but we can learn to cope with it. I would strongly suggest your next step to be psychotherapy. You have suffered something called a ‘moral injury.’ Your body is fine, your mind is not, because you have violated your moral compass. Psychotherapy can… Read more »

bob
bob
6 months ago

When I was a little boy, I had a little girlfriend, and I would walk her home after school. My parents told me not to go through a very busy intersection in LA because it is “dangerous.” They made a point and insisted I never go that way; I think they knew I had gone that way before. My girlfriend’s mom had told her the same thing. One day, I met my little girlfriend, and totally disregarding their warnings I walked with her. At the intersection we started to cross, and a car struck her down, dragged her and stopped.… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 months ago
Reply to  bob

Bob –

Wow.

What a brave post – brimming with help for us as we navigate our accidental killings.

Those involved in 12 step programs like to say, ‘You’re only as sick as your secrets’ meaning that traumas like this that we hide eventually find a way out, and not always a healthy one.

I hope everyone can take your powerful advice, thank you so much for sharing it.

Chris+

Verna
Verna
6 months ago
Reply to  bob

Hi Bob, woah that is heavy. thank you for sharing your story. It is extremely brave of you. I feel like it is easier to share our tragic stories on here rather than in person. To me it feels so difficult to express grief face to face. This is my first post/response. Yours stuck out to me instantly. I have a few questions…. I lost my boyfriend at 19 years old. We were together for 2 years. One Saturday night we got into an argument. BTW we never argued. The next day he shot himself. However, it was not suicide.… Read more »

Copley Glass
Copley Glass
6 months ago

Hello everyone. I wasn’t sure I wanted to post anything here, but after seeing how many others have experienced the horror of accidentally causing someone’s death, I figured what I have to add to the discussion might actually be of some benefit to someone. So, here goes: When we were teenagers, my younger brother Paul and I (14 & 17, respectively) were horsing around in the parking lot of a local shopping mall. He eventually wound up on top of my hood with me driving. I started going too fast for his comfort (and mine, seeing the horrified expression on… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 months ago
Reply to  Copley Glass

Hey Copley – Ya, you’re right, I haven’t seen anyone share quite the same story as you have – and I hope someone with some insight into this particular aspect of PTSD can post something helpful. I am really glad you posted not just because of your query, but because you are a living testament to what tenacity and resilience can yield. Ya, it often takes that long for the sting of grief to dissipate, but it can dissipate. I think it’s important to hear stories of ‘success’ like yours – in that you have found a way to cope.… Read more »

Mitchell F.
Mitchell F.
6 months ago

I lost my little boy, Marshall, in a farm accident Oct 11, 2021. Marshall was 5 years old. He was riding on the tractor with me while I was pulling the shredder/bush hog. He was flung of the tractor by a tree branch that the exhaust stack caught and snapped back, I watched it all and there was nothing I could do. I miss him so much.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 months ago
Reply to  Mitchell F.

Hi Mitchell – Thank you so much for sharing the story about Marshall. I can’t begin to imagine the pain and heartache that have resulted for you and many others. Your courage in sharing this helps us remember the frequency in which this happens – that there are tens of thousands of accidental killings, not to mention hundreds of thousands of accidental injuries, every year in the U-S (alone!). I hope you have sought out a psychotherapist to help you process what I can only imagine are deep, deep wounds. As an accidental killer I can approximate what you are… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
6 months ago

Hi, although I am fortunate (so far) not to have ever accidentally killed anyone, I am traumatized reading the gloating comments on Twitter from right-wing political figures taking delight in Alec’s predicament. How should we respond to this? Twitter is not enforcing their rules against people who think what happened to Alec is funny.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Hi Andrew —

Thanks for visiting here —

Personally, haters will be haters. Twitter is awash in them. I think contacting the platform and asking them to enforce their rules would be a start. If you feel compelled to respond, go for it, but I find the platform ill equipped for serious, transformative dialog.

Martin Luther King, Jr famously said that the only way to make a friend out of an adversary is through love. Hitting back only makes things worse. Ignoring it and taking the high road is the best way IMHO.

Peace,

Chris+

H H
H H
6 months ago
Reply to  Andrew

Unfortunately social media gives mean people a bigger arena. There is true evil in the world, and people who hurt others because they can fall into that category. Nobody here is evil, and I am sorry for your pain and suffering.

You are not bad people. You didn’t even do a bad thing – that requires deliberate intent.

I wish you love. I wish you peace. We all, for different reasons, deserve mercy.

Sandy
Sandy
6 months ago

One moment in time can change your life forever. I was driving home from work. I was a street away from my house, when I hit a pedestrian in the turning lane. It’s been two and a half years. It still haunts me.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 months ago
Reply to  Sandy

Hi Sandy – Wow – it’s true – just one second in time is all it takes. I am so sorry for this death – and all the pain it has caused. I hope you have pursued psychotherapy – it is a lifesaver for a lot of people. And please know that our monthly meetings are open to all – and it can be very comforting knowing that we’re not the only ones who have done this. Grief shared is grief lessened. I hope you’ve had a chance to peruse the website as well – there’s quite a compendium of… Read more »

Rebecca
Rebecca
6 months ago

I’m so grateful to find this website. I’m based in the UK, but stumbled across this page by chance during desperate searching trying to find support, whilst wondering if I deserved it. Three years ago I was driving on an unfamiliar road when I missed a stop sign. I wasn’t speeding, nor had I been drinking, I just simply did not see it. I collided with a motorcyclist who was thrown approximately 100 metres from the crash site and died at the scene. I was charged with ‘causing death by careless driving’ (I’m not sure if there is an equivalent… Read more »

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 months ago
Reply to  Rebecca

Hi Rebecca! Great to hear from you – and Yes! Our monthly support group includes a number of people from the UK – including England and Scotland. It will be late for you but hopefully not too bad – 5p EST. Thank you so much for sharing details of your accident. And like you, no matter how many times or how many people tell me ‘it was just an accident’ – for those of us involved, we can’t begin to shun responsibility. I am hoping you’ve found a good therapist to give you advice on how to deal with these… Read more »

Chrissie Stevenson
Chrissie Stevenson
6 months ago
Reply to  Rebecca

Hi Rebecca, I’m based in the UK too and have a similar story. I was crossing a B road when a motorbike hit me from the right. He died at the scene. After a year long police investigation, I was charged with causing death by careless driving. Fortunately the court case was dropped 3 weeks before it was due to start. However that doesn’t stop my brain from knowing someone died at the hands of my wheel, even though it was an accident, there are so many emotions that come with that. I want something good to come out of… Read more »

Sara
Sara
6 months ago
Reply to  Rebecca

Hi Rebecca,

My father died on a motorcycle when I was 7 in a terrible car accident. I often think about the driver that hit my dad and hope that he doesn’t let the guilt eat away at him. He didn’t mean for it to happen and I hope he knows that I’ve never felt ill will toward him. I can only imagine how you and he might feel. I’m sorry for how much you are hurting. Good luck on your journey to find peace.

byron
byron
6 months ago
Reply to  Sara

Thank you for this. This is the one thing I’ve always longed for in my situation. I want her family to know how sorry I am. I always wonder what they think of me. Do they hate me? Would they be open to meeting with me if the situation presented itself? etc.

byron
byron
6 months ago
Reply to  Rebecca

Your situation is very similar to mine. In 1998 I was driving and was looking ahead for where i had to turn. I missed the stop sign and collided with another car. That driver, unfortunately passed from her injuries. I too was charged with Vehicular Manslaughter. I had a pretty sympathetic prosecutor who agreed to let me plead No contest in exchange for no jail time. I was also suspended from driving for a period of time. Nobody can really understand what we’re dealing with, unless they’ve been through it. It’s been 23 years for me, and my life is… Read more »

Mike Hansen
Mike Hansen
6 months ago

I had my license for 2 months and was driving home from school when an 8th grader jumped out from a group walking on the shoulder. Med evac and died 7 days later

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 months ago
Reply to  Mike Hansen

Hi Mike- Thanks so much for sharing this – I can only imagine how badly you feel – I am hoping you’ve sought out some sort of therapy. When we break an arm or a leg we think nothing of going to the emergency room and getting it taken care of ASAP – And the truth of the matter is that you’ve suffered a severe moral injury: the moral compass inside all of us that tells us it’s wrong to take someone’s life – has been violated – and it needs just as much care as any broken limb. You… Read more »

Sandu
Sandu
6 months ago

I’m so glad to find this site. I’ve felt so alone.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 months ago
Reply to  Sandu

Sandu! Welcome! You are not alone – This site gets an average of 100 unique hits a day – and when something like the Alec Baldwin story gets in the news, the hits are 10x’s that amount. Why? Because there are a lot of accidents out there – many are not fatal but all of them are life-changing and tragic. 30,000 people a year are killed by someone else, on accident. That’s a lot of lives affected – especially when we add in the friends and family of the deceased. But, like you expressed in your comment – most people… Read more »

Danila
Danila
6 months ago

Sept 6th last month. I was headed to work at 5am.i hit a pedestrian on the service road of main highway. He passed on scene. What makes me more heartbroken is my cousin passed from a hit an run about 2 months before. Telling myself how can someone do that just leave her to die. And then it happens to me. It was dark and didnt see him. Staying close to my God is only thing keeping my mind together. Id never ever in my life would want to hurt anyone.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 months ago
Reply to  Danila

Danila – Thank you for your heartfelt story! I can’t imagine how painful and tragic this is for you. I think you’re wise to seek solace in your faith. It has been proven to help folk get better, to bounce back faster, and to find new ways to cope with life. If you haven’t already sought a professional therapist I can’t stress this enough. We’re quick to go see doctors when we suffer physical trauma – but what about our spiritual health? You have witnessed something horrific. Your mind has taken pictures of this – and your memory has it… Read more »

Danila
Danila
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris Yaw

.Thank you for ur advice and access to speak with others

Helen
Helen
6 months ago

Hello. My name is Helen and a year ago I made a massive error of judgement to do with Covid. I didn’t isolate my little girl as I was told to. We stayed at home but I didn’t protect my other daughter, my husband or myself within the home and we all got the virus. My husband and little one recovered but my other daughter and I have been severely affected in different ways – in life-changing ways. It has decimated our lives because of one impulsive, rash decision. A mother is supposed to protect her children. I have replayed… Read more »

Andrew Bernstein
Andrew Bernstein
6 months ago

On October 6, 2010, I had an epileptic seizure and lost consciousness. While I was passed out, my car crossed the median and struck a car coming the other way. I injured the woman driving the car and killed an eight year old boy in the back seat. Even though it wasn’t my fault (I was taking my epilepsy meds at the time), I have never forgiven myself.

Chris Yaw
Chris Yaw
6 months ago

Andrew – Thank you so much for sharing this – and I am so sorry that you have not been able to forgive yourself. Forgiveness is such a big issue – and so difficult with something of such magnitude. I always suggest people find a good therapist to help equip them with the proper tools to live as healthy as possible. Also, I suggest our monthly meetings – they’re 90 minutes and you can come anonymously if you like. You can find details for that elsewhere on the site. And on this site you can also find other resources –… Read more »