They found Richard and Aimee in a canyon in Northern California. The rental car they had was a mere speck at the bottom of the canyon. Two young hikers had found them. Richard was barely breathing and pinned under the steering wheel. Both legs were pinned. Aimee was still conscious with a severe broken arm and also two broken legs. The two boys were able to call for help.
I had been waiting for them to arrived the night before. They had called weeks ago and had arranged a vacation to visit me in the High Sierra Mountains. I was worried about them, so the next day when they had not called me, I made a call to California Mountain Patrol. Nothing could be done because it had not been twenty-four hours yet. I called the airport to make sure they got off the plane. They reported they had, and rented a car. I decided to drive in direction of the Reno, Nevada airport, checking every skid mark on the highway. I didn’t see anything. I was getting very worried now.
The two boys made contact with the Mountain Rescue Team. Two men with ropes repelled down to the car. They called back up the road to have a basket lowered to them. This was going to be a hard rescue. A helicopter was dispatched, and a fire department, to get a rescue tool to cut the roof and doors off the car. Richard and Aimee were holding on, but for how much longer? They both had lost a substantial amount of blood and the color in their face was not good. Hours went by and finally and within time they were pulled from the wreckage. Both were raised to the helicopter and off to Reno Regional Hospital.
A call was made to my house, it was Richard. He told me about the accident. I almost passed out when he gave me that info. I asked how Aimee was doing. Richard replied; She is in surgery right now to repair the damaged legs. Richard I asked, How are you doing? I had surgery this morning on my legs too. I guess we will not be making it up to your house this vacation. Richard was always joking like that.
I went to the hospital to visit them all that week until a flight was arranged for both of them to fly back to Boston via Air Emergency Service. Their family’s were there when they arrived.
I guess from what I hear, the accident was caused because Richard had looked down to get a text message and drove right off the cliff. Aimee was asleep at the time. Life can change right before your eyes, in a moment you can disappear. Text messaging when driving is not worth it. Put the phones away, or turn them off and wait until you are stopped, or home, before reading your messages. My friends are better today but walk with limp, a reminder of their vacation.