Managing the emotional maelstrom

Accidentally harming another human being is one of the most distressing experiences most of us can even imagine, and coping poses many challenges. Those of us who have caused accidental death or injury (CADIs) experience a wide range of emotional and cognitive difficulties. The first stage in  healing is to learn to cope with these feelings, so that you can feel better, think more clearly, and function more effectively.

I would hallucinate while doing the dishes. All of a sudden it wasn’t
bubbly dishwater but bubbly blood coming out toward me. I was
afraid of being left alone. I was afraid of the children leaving the
house. I was hyper-alert, hyper-vigilant.

S., accidentally killed a bicyclist in a car crash

I had recurrent thoughts of the accident and a sense of reliving the
experience. Although I felt very emotional, I was unable to cry.
Sleeping was almost impossible. Death felt like the only way out of
my situation.

N., accidentally killed a motorcyclist in a car crash

I stayed in my room for a whole month. I cried. I said, “Why did this
have to happen?” Images would come to my head. I would see the
blood on her.

T., accidentally shot and seriously injured his girlfriend

If your accident occurred recently, you may experience some or all of the symptoms of acute stress. Difficulty coping with unresolved distress can become “Post-traumatic Stress Disorder” (PTSD), a common response to trauma. PTSD can appear soon after your accident, or it may appear years later. Although exact statistics are not available, I estimate that at least 25% of CADI’s develop PTSD. Many more have some troubling symptoms.

Reactions to trauma

In the first few days or weeks after your accident, you may experience some of the following symptoms. These signal that you have been through a major trauma and need to exercise all your coping skills. Over time, the symptoms often go away. If they persist, or if they interfere with your daily life more than you want, you can obtain treatment.

  1. Feeling numb, disconnected, detached, or dissociated from the world around you or from yourself.
  2. Sleep problems — having a hard time falling asleep, staying asleep, or staying awake. You may have nightmares.
  3. Flashbacks, thoughts, images, and memories of the accident may dominate your inner life or interrupt and intrude on other thoughts and activities.
  4. A high stress level, which can interfere with daily life and create physical problems such as an upset stomach.
  5. Sadness, grief, or depression. This may be pervasive or it may come in waves. Guilt and shame may be closely related.
  6. Fear, including fears you know to be irrational. You may want to avoid certain places, settings, activities, or situations. You may feel jumpy and startle easily. You may be “hyper-vigilant;” for instance, you might need to check and re-check to make sure something or somebody is safe.
  7. Memory problems, including an inability to remember certain aspects of the accident.
  8. Irritation — you may feel more impatient, have a “shorter fuse,” be quicker to anger.
  9. Difficulty being loving, tender, or sexual.
  10. A sense that you can never know happiness again, that you are a “bad” person, and that the world is a “bad” and unsafe place.

What you can do

  1. Be kind to yourself. The pain you feel is evidence of your humanity.
  2. Keep in mind that you will not always feel this way,  that you can find a path to peace.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help — from doctors, counselors, clergy, friends and family. Some hold back because they feel that they deserve to suffer, but what is the point of turning yourself into another victim of the accident?  Definitely seek help if: (a) you feel suicidal, (b) you worry you cannot control your anger, (c) distress related to your accident interferes with your life (work, home life, relationships, mood, thinking, health, etc.) for more than one month.
  4. If you are thinking of suicide, please take action immediately. You can visit a local emergency room, call your doctor, or you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, where someone is available 24/7 to talk with you: 1 800 273-8255.

    Here are a few ways to find a qualified therapist in the United States.

    American Psychological Association

    The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy

    National Association of Social Workers

  5. Do not abuse alcohol or drugs. You can ask a doctor to prescribe medication to help you cope.
  6. Do not neglect your overall health — try to eat sensibly, drink lots of water, and exercise.
  7. Be wary of advice that does not feel right to you. There are many paths up this mountain to peace, and you can select the route that feels right for you.
  8. Review the Links and Books & Podcasts section of this website for additional information about acute and post-traumatic stress.
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feeling horrible
Guest
feeling horrible

I hit an elderly lady yesterday morning. I was waiting to make a left turn. I looked and saw no one in the crosswalk. My light was green and the red hand was on. After letting a car going in the opposite direction pass. I proceeded to make a left turn. I was going maybe 5miles per hour. As soon as I saw the elderly woman I slammed on my breaks. I believe I didn’t hit her going at 5 miles. I am almost positive that the jolt from slamming on my breaks was what hit this elderly woman. She… Read more »

Eli
Guest
Eli

Dec 30, 2018. I’m a college student who doesn’t drink or do drugs. I drove home from one county to another to have a family dinner which I had been looking forward to for a while. My dad had come back home from across the country and we haven’t had a family dinner with everyone present for about a year or so. I rushed home after work only to find out that my older sister went out with her friend and my mom was with her siblings in another city. I was upset, more so with my mom because I… Read more »

KM
Guest
KM

Please find a professional to speak to or call the helpline on this website. My daughter felt better after just one session.

Sally
Guest
Sally

I ran a red light too and got hit in the process. I don’t remember the light being red but witnesses say it was. Everyone was okay but my little girl was in the car and I can’t get the sound of her screaming out of my head. I also feel like I want to die and feel like I am a worthless human being, feelings I have always had but they are even worse now. I guess we all make mistakes. I would imagine that everyone has run a red light at some point but sometimes we are lucky… Read more »

Theresa "Tree"
Guest

Eli, You need to seek help as soon as possible. If you need help tracking down a good TRAUMA counselor, please feel free to contact me at: admin@accidentalcasualties.com I know you shut down your social media but we have a closed/ private/ screened support group you can link to by clicking the Facebook icon/little blue box at: accidentalcasualties.com. You have to provide some screening questions as it is for CADIs or their parents, only. We have some psychological support from professionals in group but also speaking with others there who understand is EXCEPTIONALLY helpful in healing. All of the people… Read more »

SW
Guest
SW

Three days ago. I hit a man or a motorcycle. I was coming up a hill and didn’t see him I think preparing to turn. I wasn’t on my phone, or texting. I just didn’t see him. He was breathing when I stopped and others began helping. He died on the scene. I am greatul that there were amazing people on the scene helping them and praying for us both and helping me. I have walked away with just whiplash. I have an amazing support system but I literally feel broken hearted and still with all the support alone. I… Read more »

Denny
Guest
Denny

I had a very similar accident several years ago. It took some time, but I was eventually able to forgive myself.
I would be happy to talk to you and share my experiences with you.

Denny

A
Guest
A

A couple weeks ago I was driving through a neighborhood and there is a construction site on both sides of the street. All of a sudden a construction worker came into the street and I did not see him at all due to fencing and signs around the area and I hit him on the right side of my car. It’s honestly all a blur. I have never been in any type of situation like this. I ended up getting a call two weeks after the accident and was told the worker had passed away. I’ve never felt so guilty… Read more »

Kaitlyn
Guest
Kaitlyn

I hit a 7 yr old boy who came riding out of a blind driveway right into my car. I was going the speed limit, it was after a curve so my vision was limited and I live in the neighborhood and am so aware of all the children around… it’s one of the reasons we moved to the neighborhood. The cops did not cite me as the child was not supervised and was the one who caused the accident technically since he popped out into the street. And the boy thankfully ended up okay with a broken femur and… Read more »

A friend
Guest
A friend

I’m so sorry for what you are going through. People can be very cruel and many have forgotten how to put themselves in the shoes of someone else. They could easily have been the driver. It can happen to anyone—either by making a simple mistake that anyone could make , or by simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time through no fault of their own.

I hope it gives you some measure of piece to know that there are people that truly understand your situation and empathize.

A friend
Guest
A friend

*peace

Jack
Guest
Jack

I just can’t get over the fact that I pulled in front of someone and made them do an evasive maneuver to avoid hitting my car. It absolutely tears me up thinking if I would’ve just looked left and waited for one more car to pass by, but my mind blanked and I just feel so stupid… i know stuff happens and people make mistakes but how in the hell could I have done such a stupid thing and not look both directions when making a left?? Oh boy…

ZonaGal
Guest
ZonaGal

A while ago, I made a left turn in front of someone. I misjudged both her distance and her speed. Her car slammed into my passenger side, crushing her front end and crumpling both of my doors. The wheel was jacked up from being forced sideways in the impact. I feel horrible that that one stupid move caused someone pain and suffering. She’s someone’s mom, grandma. As of now, she has fractured ribs. I walked away with a badly bruised shoulder, breasts, stomach, as well as seat belt burn and a bruise on both thighs. My insurance probably won’t cover… Read more »

Karen Robinson
Guest
Karen Robinson

Hi I am on here to try and understand how people feel after causing an accidental death to another. Last Tuesday, one day before my son’s birthday, he was driving his car and his view was obstructed by a bicycle crossing in front of him, he had to swerve, and unfortunately didn’t see an elderly gentleman at the other side of the bicycle crossing the road, and my son hit him, killing him instantly. I can honestly say it has been one of the worst weeks of my life, and although it wasn’t me who had the accident, I cannot… Read more »

Brent
Guest

My advice to you as a parent is to make sure your son is seeing a professional therapist that deals with this all the time. Even when he says he’s fine & doesn’t need it. Trust me, in 15 or 20 years. You don’t want to be sorry you didn’t & you will if you don’t. I’m from a small town where everybody knows everybody & their business. The type of town where everybody waives at everybody. They stopped waiving at me. If you’re town is under 10k residents you should move. Not long after my accident, I began self… Read more »

Cheryl
Guest

I also was in a fatal accident with a motorcycle. The rider was killed on impact. It’s devastating. I had an emotional break down. I didnt sleep eat and I cried for 3 days. I was afraid to drive. And once I started to drive I was afraid of motorcycles. I’m slowly getting my self back together. I Thank my family for helping me through the tough time I was going through. But counseling is where I’m going to help me cope. It’s easy to have flashbacks. I need to learn how to handle them. I found the more I… Read more »

Richard
Guest

I hit a girl of about 7-8 years while I was driving today.
I can’t stop recalling Seeing her lying down peacefully on the road like she was sleeping.

She was rushed to a hospital and she died.
I still can’t forget the whispers of prayers and cries at the scene.
I am struggling to sleep too.
God pls forgive me.
I pray God grants the family the fortitude to bear the lost.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Its been almost a year i ran down a lady who was laying in the road cops said most likely after being hit by another car aside from the the next several weeks feeling like such a piece of shit hearing everyone say it wasnt your fault you just need to get past it and i kinda did for awhile i still thought about it most days though but just last week something happened to me i was driving down that road like i had done many times when i got to where it happened i swear i saw her… Read more »

J
Guest
J

Is there any way I could reach out to you? I just had this same thing happen to me last night and am having a hard time finding anyone who gets it.

Ev
Guest
Ev

This happened to me 33 years ago. A 7 year old boy rode his bike out in front of my car and died at the scene. I hit an oncoming car coming the other way trying to avoid him. It went to court and I was charged with careless driving causing death however evidence, eye witnesses and photos of my car proved I was not at fault…not speeding just in the wrong place at the wrong time. The charges were dismissed. I was pregnant at the time. Time will make it easier to bear….you will go through all sorts of… Read more »

Denys Snodgrass
Guest
Denys Snodgrass

Dear Richard:

My son was driving in a residential neighborhood, turned left and hit what he did not realize at the time was a man on a motorcycle. The man died on the way to the hospital. My son, like you, has not been able to sleep and is basically feels numb most days.

I pray for you and everyone else on this forum, as I hope you will pray for my son.
God bless you!

Michael Freeman
Guest

I’ve been driving for just over two years now, never been in an accident, and have been always been credited as a “good” driver, a “safe” Driver. Yesterday I nearly killed myself, and my best friend. The paramedics, the cops, and all the bystanders said we should be dead, and I still feel like I should be. I was taking a sharp corner way to fast on a hot road in my car. We started to veer off to the right into the oncoming lane just as the car rounded the curve. I hit the breaks but that just made… Read more »

Suji
Guest
Suji

Michael first thank god you are still living. And I am sure you will be more cautious on drive again. So come out of negative thoughts and be happy.
You know my 18 year daughter met with an accident last Jan and lost her friend. We are still suffering .
So I can feel how lucky you were to survive.
Wish you peace soon

e
Guest
e

hello i am 18 and on December 16th 2017 i was on my way to work it was snowing a little bit but the roads weren’t too bad. i was waiting in the middle of the intersection to turn left when the light turned yellow i saw a car coming but thought he was far enough away to stop so i decided to turn. I t-boned his car and he ran into a pole. my airbag went off and i crawled out of my car. i sat on the road and watched in horror as some random people broke the… Read more »

hurting
Guest
hurting

e, there IS life for you after this accident. Please get counseling. My husband is CADI and I think his counselor and EMDR have emotionally saved our entire family. It’s been 13.5 months since his accident. <3

Tuesday
Guest
Tuesday

The is something beyond us, as humans, that we often remove from the equation ( so to speak) when mentally processing anothers death. Especially when we may be involved in the events prior to that persons death. This something has many names here in 3D life. Like; God, holy spirt, Jah, The Source, the universe, the one creator, and so on… Even if youre not religious or if you dont belive in any type of “God” or higher power. When you are so personally involved, consumed, and feel responsible for another persons leaving the planet (I like to call it)… Read more »

Jacob Wood
Guest
Jacob Wood

This post is very helpful, I was involved in an accident on May 4th where the driver of a motorcyclist passed away and I’m having a difficult time processing it. My main issue is convincing myself I wasn’t responsible

Grateful
Guest
Grateful

Tuesday, all I can say is thank you for your post! I don’t know who you are but what you posted on April 14, 2018, helped me in profound ways. I printed out what you wrote and I read it every time I feel shaky. Please know that you helped at least one person (me), but I suspect and hope others see your post and find the measure of peace like I did. You made the difference whoever you are. THANK YOU!

K
Guest
K

Hi,
I’m 17 and last night at 12 A.M I crashed my dad’s car into the curb. I did not injure anyone (thank God) or myself and the car is not dented but the wheel alignment is super messed up. It is going to cost more money than we expected. The rest of my family forgave me and said it was an accident but my dad is still very angry with me and I feel as though he’s never going to forgive me. I wish I could take back time and be more careful. I am so sorry dad.

Matthew Ressler
Guest
Matthew Ressler

Hi K, You don’t deserve to feel guilty about this to the point that your ruminating about it. Dad’s can be absolutely brutal and unforgiving when it comes to things like this, and they are wrong to do that to those they love. My uncle made his son feel guilty for almost everything he did. When my uncle’s wife got in a car wreck, he complained incessantly and asked her to go search along the road for some trivial piece of the car that had fallen off in the wreck. It affects them, and we’ve all just come to accept… Read more »

Anon
Guest
Anon

Two weeks ago I was in the passenger seat of a car that hit and killed a girl who was simply walking to school. We live in a rural area where it took 15 minutes for emergency services to arrive, it felt like a lifetime. The memories hurt but what hurts more is watching the driver in the incident go through so much pain and guilt, even though it was a pure accident. The legal side of things is petrifying, as well as having to face the family of the girl

AISHAH BINTI ITHNIN
Guest
AISHAH BINTI ITHNIN

Just a few days a go, while at 6.30 am, i have caused an accident with a motorcyle after exchanging lanes. The person is an old man and now back in critical condition as he has fractured his ribs while i have left with no injury. I’m so shaken with the news that he is in ICU at the moments. I don’t know what else to do. I wanted to visit the family in the hospital but his wife refused. I have been crying since, i feel so broken. I feel so lonely, scared. Every second my thought only about… Read more »

Ahna
Guest
Ahna

I came here to try and help myself with the guilt I’m feeling over my accident. I’m only 17 years old and have been driving for almost a full year. On Feb. 10, I got into my first serious accident. I was following my friend out of a parking lot turning left. There are lanes of traffic coming from both left and right. My friend decided to go and when I looked there were cars coming from the right but none seemed to be coming from my left. But I was wrong, as I pulled out from the stop sign… Read more »

s
Guest
s

Hi, I did almost the exact same thing an hour or two ago. Thought there was no one coming from the left but there was, and when it hit me I panicked and drove into another car. We weren’t going that fast but there was a child involved (uninjured) and it makes me sick to know I put his life at risk. Wasn’t going to respond until I saw you said that you felt like you screwed up all the time. I understand that feeling because I’m kind of that guy too. Just try to remember that everyone makes mistakes… Read more »

Colby K.
Guest
Colby K.

I was on my way home today after picking up my youngest brother (age 11) and my younger brother (age 15) when I started zoning out driving down the road. I was in a school zone, so the speed limit was a measly 25 mph while I was cruising at about 15 or 20. The second I looked up and re focussued from dazing I slam right into the back of a stopped suburban, next thing I know there are deployed airbags, broken windows, and smoke everywhere. After getting out of the car and checking on my brothers I see… Read more »

Jack
Guest
Jack

Hey man, I’m really sorry to hear that this happened to you. The way you’re feeling is exactly how I am from time to time, but I have complete sympathy for you particular occurrence. I was at a stop sign in my neighborhood and I was taking a left. I was really upset that day, and for some unknown reason I looked right completely to make sure there was no cars, but I completely blanked and did not check to my left at all. It was by far the stupidest thing I have ever done. I took a left, and… Read more »

Julie
Guest
Julie

My 17 year old daughter caused a very serious accident and injured a man on a motorcycle. She didn’t see that he was stopped and waiting to turn because either he didn’t have his turn signal on or she didn’t see it. I feel so much pain for her guilt. She seems so depressed and I feel that. My hope is that the other driver will walk away but that is unknown at this time. I really just got on here to understand how to help her cope.

Elizabeth
Guest
Elizabeth

My older son, age 10 at the time, was hit and killed by a backing-up garbage truck whose driver did not see him coasting his bicycle into the street right behind the truck. My younger son, age 4 at the time, was standing on the sidewalk and witnessed the accident. It was the single most horrible day of my life. That day, July 7, 1970, has continued to linger in my consciousness ever since. I went through all of the PTSD symptoms as described above, except that in 1970 no one knew what PTSD was, so there was nowhere to… Read more »

Lane
Guest
Lane

Wow… God bless you.

Anon
Guest
Anon

There are lots of sad posts here. I lost a friend, 25 years old in a car accident last week. It’s tough and we miss him but he lived a very full life, more than most live in 50 years or more. If Oliver was here reading this, he would want you all to work hard to get through this any enjoy this world. You have to forgive yourself and deserve the best. Its not always easy but there’s always a way.

Emma
Guest
Emma

Thank you

Annonymous
Guest
Annonymous

Hey everyone really needing some help right now . I am a 23 year old that recently got in a car accident November 29th 2017 Ita only been a couple of days but I have been going crazy . I had left my house intoxicated around 11 pm and while I was driving I turned into a house and completely ruined my car thank god the house I ran into was empty with no one in there I didn’t hit or injuries anyone I guess I’m glad it happened only to me . I have stitches on my forehead as… Read more »

A.
Guest
A.

Hi Time is a powerful factor. Train yourself to never drive intoxicated again, I would suggest. Nor sleepy, nor in any condition that can compromise other people safety. If you can do this, I think you will feel safer. It is a good thing that you didn’t hurt anyone, and that you understand you could have. Face this as an opportunity. An opportunity to improve in some aspects. We are limited to doing the best we can, so try to do your best. Breath. Think how things could have been different, and if they had been different, you would be… Read more »

Mary
Guest
Mary

This post and people’s comments have helped me. Two days ago I caused a car accident. It was stop and go traffic on the highway, and I looked at my phone while I was accelerating. I was going over 40 mph. Maybe 50. I don’t know. I slammed into the car in front of me, and that car slammed into the car in front of them, and then another one got tapped in the front. I caused all that. The guilt and shame is constant. My airbags didn’t deploy so I hit and cut my head pretty bad, and sprained… Read more »

JoJo
Guest
JoJo

I experienced the exact same thing twice once in 2014, and once in 2015. You’d think I would’ve learned the 1st time but I did it again. I was lucky the first time because I hit a truck, so only major damage was to my car, but the last time I hit the car in front of me who was stopped who then hit the car in front of them. I don’t think anyone was seriously injured, not 100% sure as someone tried to sue me for medical damage like a year and a half later, but I wasn’t going… Read more »

Anon
Guest
Anon

Sorry to hear. I’m looking after a friend at the moment in a similar situation. Life is fragile but we are here, be kind to yourself and learn to live. You’ll get through this.

Vanessa Graham-Dixon
Guest
Vanessa Graham-Dixon

Bless you for asking for help.
I’m sure is you are brave and honest with yourself you will move on.
Do you think you may have a drink problem?
I got sober in AA over 10 years ago after being in a mental hospital with no idea my drinking and WHY I drank was even relevant.
I now live for the day and in the moment.
It’s just a suggestion but if you look into the AA pathway and it resonates with you some wonderful things could happen for you and by default your child.
Good luck.

David Swann
Guest
David Swann

You made a mistake, we’re all human, it’s the nature of our journey on this planet. Love and care for yourself so you can also love and care for your son. Seek loving council to work through the emotions you’re feeling. Another thing you can do to make amends is to perform acts of kindness for others, this will take you out of yourself, out of shame and into a loving place. Share your story and your feelings with those you trust and that love you. Be kind to yourself.

Natalie
Guest

Hi my namehis Natalie and I was in a car accident February 2nd 2018 and I’m lucky to be alive at least that’s what everyone keeps telling me I don’t remember anything on the car accident I don’t remember the ambulance ride I don’t remember emergency room I don’t remember my family I had to traumatic Head trauma the pictures of medon’t even look like me my head was so swollen now that it’s been a little over a month my injuries has went away and I look normal the only pain I have in my back which keeps me… Read more »

Tja1254
Guest
Tja1254

I hit a pedestrian last night in a crosswalk. It was my fault. I just didn’t see him — he was wearing dark red, it was not incredibly well lit, and there’s not usually a lot of foot traffic in that area. He got up, cussed me out, which I could understand obviously, and walked away, even though I tried to offer to call emergency services. He didn’t seem to be seriously injured but he was an older guy and it’s impossible to tell. I didn’t know what to do after he left so I went home, not realizing that… Read more »

SRE
Guest
SRE

Quit blaming yourself. The pedestrian has responsibilities too. Sounds like you are beating yourself up.
Another point of view….. this is something that happened to you not something you did. The pedestrian didn’t wear visible clothes after dark in a poorly lit area, may have not checked for traffic. There is a reason they didn’t stick around. Either at fault, mental issues etc. it is normal to want to own this, take blame, but not healthy to blame yourself if unwarranted

nicole
Guest
nicole

I’m 18 years old and I got in my second accident today. My first was in May, coming home from school. I was making a left turn and it was a green light with no arrow. The oncoming car was in the left turn lane and I knew they had a yield sign so I went. When I was crossing the intersection I collided with the left side of their hood. It was a mother coming back from a PTA meeting. I felt horrible and I cried for hours. Today, I was turning left onto a one lane street out… Read more »

Michael
Guest
Michael

Please reach out its ok to feel sad its been over a year since my accident and i still struggle with sadness and its ok it does get easier i promise. Suicide is a permanent solution for a temporary problem. Imagine what it would do to your family. Be thankful no one was hurt that it was just an accident that could have been much worse. For example on August 9th 2016 i was headed to work as i always do. I was on top of the world my wife was pregnant with our 2nd son and we had just… Read more »

K
Guest
K

I lost my dad several weeks ago. He was under hospice care, but because of several factors hospice would not consider, and which my gut told me were true, I believe my dad suffered and died an untimely death. I cannot detail the circumstances, because the images they carry are overwhelmingly unbearable, and I’m already consumed with guilt, despite everyone, including my family, telling me it was not my fault. I have nothing but compassion for all who have and will post here, as I understand your pain exactly. I am looking into EMDR for help. I also found this… Read more »

Lori anderson
Guest
Lori anderson

Dear k I share a similar story to you in feeling my mom, who passed on September 30, died while In hospice care, and didn’t need to. I also can’t go Into details as I am already filled with shame and regret and feel as though I should have saved her. We followed the doctor’s advice And then went to hospice, where we didn’t understand how things work, and before we knew it, they were giving her their meds and she died…. too soon. I too think other things were going on and that she should still be here today.… Read more »

Leigh
Guest
Leigh

I’m glad some people are able to feel guilt.

Many others are not; they are sociopaths and are more common than we think, I feel.

Veronica
Guest
Veronica

5 days ago I was in a horrible car accident where a man pulled out right in front of me (about 20-30 feet) when I was going down the highway full speed. I slammed on brakes and swerved to try to avoid him, but he was just too close and I t-boned him at almost full speed. He was in a tiny 2-door sports car and was trapped inside the vehicle. (I was in a small suv, both vehicles were totaled) I thought he was just wedged in there and would be okay but it took them 30-40 minutes to… Read more »

April Dickinson
Guest
April Dickinson

First, let me say how sorry I am. I believe I’m from the town this happened in, on 16. I passed on the way to pick up my children and all I could do was pray for those involved. My heart hurts for you. I hope you are working through your grief that I can only imagine is overwhelming. I was just looking for a way to help my husband cope with the guilt and shame he’s feeling over the death of our cat. I know there’s a significant difference between an animal and human but I believe my husband… Read more »

E
Guest
E

I made a stupid mistake whilst driving yesterday and caused an accident. I have been a careful driver for 12 years and aside from a couple of minor bumps in the past this was the first serious accident I have been in. It’s still so fresh and I’m not really coping. I’ve had a rough week already as my grandma has been given a few days left to live. I’d been trying to stay strong for my family, but it had been playing on my mind. Needless to say, I really didn’t need this to happen. I was sat waiting… Read more »

D
Guest
D

My accident was almost 6 years ago, and it still haunts me. The police on the scene seemed very kind, and I felt they truly wanted to protect me as they went to work roping off the area to gather as much evidence of the accident as they could. I tried to comfort him as he lay choking on his own blood while others called 911. People tried to reassure me. Police I interacted with later told me that this man whose motorcycle struck my car at 65 miles an hour late at night on a residential street had a… Read more »

anonymous
Guest
anonymous

I wish the focus here was not so intense on car accidents. There are so many other possibilities that can cause someone to accidentally kill someone and not reading other examples, well it makes them feel all the more alone. I know examples but want to keep my privacy.

Dan
Guest
Dan

His I know what you mean, I was involved in a hunting accident 13 years ago in which a 14 year old boy was killed. I am partly responsible for his death as I led the group. I am still struggling with self blame and guilt and chronic anxiety. You do feel alone though when there is nothing similar on the net. I feel sometimes that my accident was unusual and it was someone i knew and that means I’m going to be suicidal, it creates obsessive thoughts about suicide. I do feel hopeless and low and I’ve been on… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

I was 17, i got into a car crash and caused me and my girl friends bestfriend to die. The night of the funeral my girlfriend slept with our dead best friends boyfriend, i only found out later. The day of the funeral she got called up to the podium gave a sad fake speech about our lost friend. a day later i had to go to the dead girls family gathering and explain how bad i felt for what i had done to the whole family with my cheating girlfriend/dead girls bestfriend by my side. She told me a… Read more »

Jess
Guest
Jess

Matt- How are you doing today? I read your story and felt such compassion for you. You deserve to be loved. We all do. There is probably something in your childhood or this accident that has left you feeling like you are unworthy of love. Which is probably why you tend to pick the girls that you do. The only one that can turn this around is you. It is not your fault, but you are the only solution. Start with yourself. Find a way to love yourself. It’s difficult…and I would say most people have struggled with it. But… Read more »

Matt
Guest
Matt

Hello jess, tonight i saw one of the girls i mention above at a graduation ceremony. It made me remeber back when i wrote on here. Thanks for your concern, im better. I have gotten a business degree, and mostly moved on from the past. I just realized that the past was holding me back. Dont get me wrong, you cant ever really get over some parts of life. I now rarely talk about or revisit the past. I see that now a part of growing up is being able to understand why things happened the way they did and… Read more »

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

Thanks for the coping methods . I made a awful mistake today while driving . Before I was making a right turn at a corner, I stopped and looked both ways making sure there was no people and cars, but I did not look to my right again when I turned and I bumped this girl and she fell forward. She was ok, no blood just minor flakes of skin coming off from her knees. But I felt awful, I was crying and panicking and paramedic said I looked worse then her. She did not have to go to the… Read more »

Mike
Guest
Mike

Hey Sarah, I can’t say a ton for your situation as the driver, but I can try to imagine how much it probably sucks to feel that guilt. The reason I’m reading all these posts is because I was hit today by a driver while riding my bicycle into a crosswalk (I had the walk-signal) but he was making a right turn on a red and was understandably watching incoming traffic from his left. I don’t know what part of me thought it was an okay choice to make, but I suppose I got cocky and figured I deserved the… Read more »

Larisa
Guest
Larisa

I actually came to this site because I’m laying here in bed unable to sleep from the pain from my car accident that happened 2.5 years ago. I was rear ended by a young lady who got distracted and didn’t see the cars stopped in front of her. I have wondered often if the car accident has affected her also so I googled it and ended up here. It hasn’t been easy being in pain all the time and missing out on time and fun with my kids, but I’ve never once felt angry at the young lady who hit… Read more »

Sarah
Guest
Sarah

Thank you . Reading this made me feel better about what happened today . I felt so awful after I bumped the girl on the corner while she was crossing the street. She was ok will no blood kust minor scrapes to the knees but I still feel awful. But after reading this I feel better and I know things will get better .

anonymous
Guest
anonymous

I needed to read this today. I got into my first accident last year and I’m still feeling the guilt of it. No one was hurt and it wasn’t even my fault, but because I was the one who rear ended him, I was the one legally at fault. The old man in front of me slammed on his brakes on the freeway. We were all going the speed limit and I was more than a car length behind him. I couldn’t swerve into a different lane because there were cars all around us so I had no choice but… Read more »

Erika
Guest
Erika

I’m Happy I found this site. Knowing that I am not going through, what I’m going through alone. I was recently in accident, a day before easter that totally broke my heart, the person didn’t make it. , it’s still all so fresh but my emotions have been all over the place. I’m really affecting everyone who im surrounded by, but the main two people who are being affecting by me is my two sons who are only 6, and 8 and they worry about me so much. My heart is broken. I feel depressed, numb, I can’t eat, I… Read more »

Billy T.
Guest
Billy T.

My best friend didn’t make it in the car i was driving to fast along time ago, i wish i could tell you it gets better but time doesn’t heal, well it hasn’t for me and he died in 1982

Morgan
Guest
Morgan

Hit by girl while I was on the off ramp at a dead stop in my car. Girl was texting on freeway, lost control going approx 80-90 and came off the freeway, hopped the freeway median to the off ramp and struck my car. Wrong place wrong time I guess. Ended up losing girlfriend (first and only relationship), 11 disc bulges, fractured vertebrate in neck, traumatic brain injury, still here though. I feel guilty about not being able to return to work, as I did construction labor – pipe layer. I prided myself in working grunt work and being a… Read more »

El
Guest
El

How have you been healing?? Will you be able to get back to work when you are all better?

I think it’s perfectly normal to feel this way, but consider counseling or going to a group or something along those lines. It may help you a lot to gain your confidence back.

Hope you feel better soon, sending love your way

na
Guest
na

I hit a guy on a bike today. I was doing a right on red, but obviously didn’t look how I should have. I clipped his back wheel, and he got a few minor scrapes, and his bike wasn’t damaged. I wasn’t going fast at all, but the fact that hit a person on a bike is terrible to me. I immediately stopped and helped him, offering to do anything to make up for it. I asked him over and over again if he was ok, if he needed to go to a hospital, wanted me to file a police… Read more »

Mike
Guest
Mike

I got hit by a driver today in that exact scenario friend, in all honesty I felt terrible about putting a dent in his hood with my shoulder. I didn’t just get clipped, I got a full left-body impact from the front of his car that sent me and my bicycle to the ground. I shouldn’t have entered the crosswalk like I did (I had the walk signal but common sense advised me otherwise). I still haven’t told my girlfriend I got hit because I’m pretty sure she won’t be happy with me. I suppose from my point of view… Read more »

amn
Guest
amn

My sister and I who also just got our license few months ago got into an accident a few days ago, we were turning into a U-turn because we missed the turn. Thinking it was safe since it was green light, she went in but she didn’t slow down properly (due to the car being the big, its the first time she drove it) was probably flustered, when she swerved in, she went past the first 2 lanes for the U-turn. A motorcyle, man and wife crashed right into the sides, we were unharmed and luckily no other vehicle crashed… Read more »

Hannah
Guest
Hannah

A couple days ago I accidentally shot my boyfriend. Luckily it hit his hand and the injuries aren’t as bad as they could be but I can’t stop thinking about the fact that I could have killed him. I still can’t believe I did that to him. I feel so awful about it. I’m having trouble sleeping and I just keep playing it over and over in my head.

carrie collins
Guest
carrie collins

Im 29 years old and I was recently in a bad accident exactly 2 weeks ago that my husband witnessed and seen the whole thing because we leave everyday at the same time in the morning before work. He was driving behind me. It was about 6:30 in the morning. The roads were very icy due to a wintry mix we have gotten all night. I I was Driving The jeep that morning as he was following me in the car I was going 40 mph And The back end of my Jeep Just went complete sideways sliding down the… Read more »

Maris
Guest
Maris

I just got into an accident yesterday. I was at a T intersection at a stop sign waiting to turn left. This is a very busy road that is notorious for causing accidents, but even knowing this, I saw two cars getting into the small curve in the road they have for people who want to turn right, and I looked both ways, thinking if they were stopped to turn and no one was coming the other way I was safe, I pulled out to make my turn and saw another car passing the people who were turning right. I… Read more »

El
Guest
El

Sweetie– As it says at the top of the post your guilt is a sign of humanity. I’m sure the woman is upset but it will feel better for her if she forgives you and moves on. She wasn’t hurt, you weren’t hurt, that’s all that matters (and I’m sure your parents feel the same). You have to do the same, and forgive yourself. This happens to so many people, more than you may think. Be strong and do your best to just drive as carefully and defensively as possible if you start again in the future. Remember that she… Read more »

John Peter
Guest
John Peter

About 8 months ago the girl of my dreams who i had been in a relationship for 4 years died at the age of 23. She was an upcoming nurse and a friend of everyone in our community. Loved by all. I wanted to be the best husband that I could be but i failed her. I left the country 3 months before she passed away to pursue a degree. We were both planning our future and we didn’t want kids yet. I encouraged her to start oral contraceptives as to prevent her from getting pregnant as we were just… Read more »

Mike
Guest
Mike

I don’t think words on a screen are going to stop you from committing suicide, but I don’t see any other replies to your post and I’ll be damned if I don’t have the guts to say something about it. Don’t do it. Please. I can’t advise you on the answers to your pain, I cannot bring back your girl, but if I have a chance of saving your life with this message then it’s worth it to write. Don’t do it. You have to be strong. I can’t even tell you why, I’m not going to lie to you… Read more »

A.
Guest
A.

Hi John, There is only so much one man can say to another in a situation like this. 4 years ago I had a car crash where I was the only survivor. Two friends of mine died. It is very difficult to explain what I felt, in the months that came after the accident. Even today I can experience the same strong emotions. I don’t wish to stop feeling them. But, I can tell you time is a powerful thing. Seek to use it as a tool. You must become one with what happened. The only advise I can give… Read more »

emerald
Guest

a few days ago I saw my love get hit by a car, it replays in my head over and over and over in slow motion it’s driving me crazy

Cakes
Guest
Cakes

A friend of mine was the driver of a vehicle. Her spouse was the passenger. Her spouse died in the accident. I’m not sure if she was drinking or if she was the one at fault. How does one get over that????

Kelsey
Guest
Kelsey

My brother is going through this. Just a few weeks ago while he was putting a gun away it went off, hitting and killing his girlfriend, the woman he planned on marrying… a lot of people blame him saying he should rott in jail. He has serious ptsd now, reliving the moment. He can’t sleep, he hardly eats, loud noises make him cry. People are saying he needs to rott in jail instead of comforting him over this misfortunate accident. I’m constantly figniting them on Facebook when they call him a scumbag… I don’t like it but when I tell… Read more »

El
Guest
El

I am so sorry about your brother’s loss and everything that happened. I don’t think many people understands accidents are truly just accidents. Next to his girlfriend he is suffering the most. I can’t imagine how it must be. Please send him love everyday.

And remember for yourself that you are a good sibling to be looking out for him. He is lucky to have you.

Hope things have gotten better since… sending love

Ellen
Guest
Ellen

I recently just went through an accident that could have been avoided so easily and in some many ways. It happened Dec. 14th at 3am. I was DD for my friends and I was driving them home. I thought I was being funny by swerving around these dividers in the road but I lost control of the car and crashed. The airbags went off even though we were going at most 30 mph. My friend had thrown is hand in front of his face and the airbag caused his wrist to break and he punched himself in the face because… Read more »

Crystal Hanaway
Guest

I don’t feel so alone as I have, while reading all of the stories/accidents. I am constantly looking for an answer and I don’t know why God believes I can handle this unbearable weight . I have every symptom that is explained in the beginning of this article and I find it remarkable that it is so on point. I was involved in an automobile accident that wasn’t my fault and the other driver lost her life. I would give anything to go back to that day ( six months ago) and leave my house five minutes earlier or later… Read more »

Crystal
Guest
Crystal

I wrote this 5 months ago. I cry when I read what I wrote because I feel every emotion in my own words as I read them. I really did feel lost and empty….. And Broken. The One that took away every saddened emotion and thought of taking my own life – was God. My road to recovery has began and it’s because of Him. My entire life – of everyday is by the grace and goodness of God. I am here because it wasn’t my time yet. I am here for a reason. My children, my siblings, my mother,… Read more »

Jess
Guest
Jess

A year and a half ago, I got in a major car accident for failing to yield left while turning in a major intersection. My chances and luck couldn’t have been worse…it was exactly 3 days after I got my license and MY FIRST TIME EVER driving alone without a parent. I was driving home from a movie with my friend on a weeknight when I failed to time my turn correctly and caused a major T-bone collision. Thankfully the woman and her daughter were ok, and no one was hurt. But the accident caused night tremors for months and… Read more »

Michael
Guest
Michael

Hello almost 4 months ago I was in an auto-pedestrian accident where a woman stepped out in front of my work Truck. I was headed north bound on the feeder at 2:40am when I hit her. I never saw her until she was at the hood of the truck. Learning to cope will be a challenge for your son. Best advice I can give is be there for him it’s very hard to reach out. I still have trouble sleeping and I am a completely different person. Also church helped me out alot. Hope this helps

Don
Guest
Don

Hey… I’m going through this now. A lady stepped in front of my car while I was driving on the green light. This happened few days ago. I’m scared. I can’t sleep. I can’t eat. I keep wanting to know what’s gonna happen to her. Keep hoping that she survives. The police are still doing investigation and I know I’m not at fault. But I am still scared that I might end up in jail. I’m scared. I never wanted to hurt anyone… how do I go through this?

Jax
Guest
Jax

Hi there, Im the mother of a 21 yr old son who nearly 2 months ago was the driver of a vehicle in which his best friend was killed. He had 3x 5% alcoholic drinks with food and water, the night they were driving in the weather was atrocious and he lost control. My son is a great full of life kid, who wishes he could turn back the clock and have his friend back. He has been to about 3 counselling sessions, and has a understanding of grief. Im writing this i suppose as I would like to know… Read more »

Mary
Guest
Mary

I was involved in a vehicle crash approximately 1 mile from my house on an old country road involving another vehicle. It has been nearly 3 months. I was only 19 at the time. I still to this day do not understand what happened that day. It was a clear day, wide open Prarie, I was not on my phone. I had just passed my father in the tractor because he pulled over for me and I remember thinking ” I don’t mind following you dad, I am in no hurry today” but he waved me past anyways. There is… Read more »

S
Guest
S

Yesterday I got a text from my mum and I couldn’t reply and decided to go down and pay my phone bill. Although when I was pulling out of my driveway even after looking both ways for traffic as soon as i pulling out of the drive way a car came from no where and i tried reversing back into my drive way but it was too late the other car ended up hitting me. Even though I got off lightly as my car is fine, the other car was not fine at all as well as the guy driving… Read more »