wings and things

Dangerous driving

on December 5, 2013

I haven’t written about the car accident for awhile because I have been too anxious and shaken, and have not wanted to publicize details that might seem like an invasion of privacy. So I haven’t posted photos or named the children for this reason and will not do so now.

For those who don’t know, eight weeks ago today, Ming took his little cousins and a friend for a ride on the back of his ute (truck), then lost control on gravel about 2 kms from home. I do not want to replay the horror of that night or talk about the details. Instead, I want to say how grateful I am that everybody is recovering well despite multiple fractures including spinal and that yesterday we got the good news that two of my nieces got their neck braces off and the one nephew will hopefully soon be able to walk again (but I don’t know how soon). The friend is recovering well from her badly broken arm but her best friend, my niece, will still be in a neck-to-waist brace for many weeks (she is the one who told me to stop inboxing her, beautiful brat!)

My whole family continues to support each other, with humour, empathy, a couple of arguments, reconcilations, renewed love for each other and enormous mutual support. So I am very proud to belong to such a family – my mother, brothers, sister-in-laws, and the kids – where forgiveness and generosity are so natural.

Ming has now been charged with five counts of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and tomorrow we see the lawyer and barrister who are taking his case. My family and friends have provided many character references for him that will hopefully help but we still don’t know the court date.

In Australia there are three levels of driving offences – careless driving, dangerous driving, and reckless driving, so Ming is in the middle. Of course I am terribly worried but I didn’t realize how worried I was until the wash of relief that all of the children will be okay – even my niece who is still in the brace and oh how I wish I could wear that bloody thing for her.

On the cusp of what if? it is difficult NOT to imagine how much worse this could have been. Yesterday, at another family get together, the children all said how haunted they were still and my heart breaks that they have this memory. I guess it will stop any of them from driving dangerously.

Ming, despite being very open about everything else in his life to me, is strangely silent about the accident and seems to just want it to go away. I understand that and I also understand how reading the character witness statements upsets him. Despite his shock and remorse and anxiety about the kids, he has that attitude of moving forward. I don’t understand his resilence any more than he understand my lack of it.

Dangerous driving is dangerous driving so please warn your younger loved ones that a joyride of this type is not worth it.

51 responses to “Dangerous driving

  1. niasunset says:

    I hope and wish in the court they would be understandable and not give a hard decision. Blessing you all dear Julie, I am with you always my beautiful friend. Love, nia

  2. artfulanxiety says:

    Very wise message. Cars can be very dangerous when conditions aren’t favourable. A friend of mine crashed her car into a tree with me in the passenger side on a gravel road. We weren’t going very fast but I ended up in hospital with terrible whiplash, internal bruising, giant burn mark from the seatbelt and a gash on my head. All because she took her eyes off the road for literally 3 seconds. That’s all it takes unfortunately.
    I really wish your family all the best. Ming just sounds very responsible about it, but like anyone the reality hits home hard so it’s best not to think about it.

  3. I hope that Ming’s trial will be short and that the judge will see that Ming is a fine, upstanding young man who made a mistake in judgement and will decide accordingly with compassion in his heart. Has Ming been to see a counselor, it might help. I know that you both have been, but for this challenge it may well be even more crucial for him to attend. Hugs xoxo

  4. Good luck in court. So many variables but good character references are really important and should help Ming incredibly.

  5. A difficult time for you, one and all, Julie, albeit it’s a blessing that everyone survived the
    trauma. I pray there will be a positive outcome for everyone concerned …

  6. Anonymous says:

    A difficult time for you, one and all, Julie, albeit it’s a blessing that everyone survived the
    trauma. I pray there will be a positive outcome for everyone concerned …

  7. elizabeth says:

    Julie, is it possible that Ming is simply shutting-down (so to speak) because the thoughts of looking back, and the results of what happened, would cripple him completely? It’s very possible he has to be resilient and keep moving forward because otherwise he’d crumple.

    Praying he gets the very best lawyer for his case and that the judge is a compassionate and merciful one. (((hugs)))

  8. Lynda says:

    I think he has been punished enough, Julie. Carrying the weight of his actions must be so daunting. I am praying for leniency. xo

    • jmgoyder says:

      The most exhausting thing for Ming, me and our whole family has been the anxiety about the injured children’s longterm prognoses. Now that this has more or less been ascertained as good, it is possible to breathe again, but not easily. Long road ahead in more ways than one.

  9. lensgirl53 says:

    There is a lot to be learned from this and your warnings are invaluable. Ming’s youthful resilience will see him through, although as a mom, your concerns are normal. You are blessed with a wonderful family. I hope every person involved will rise above the adversity of the accident and all will be well once again. Much love to you sweet friend…….dale

  10. One of my sons many years ago and likely about Ming’s age was facing going to jail because of an offence different than Ming’s. It also dragged on for months waiting for the court case and during those months we were on pins and needles. 0ur son was also very ‘quiet’. We didn’t know the extent of his inner feelings until the day of his case and he was like a time bomb and actually broke into profuse tears when the judge did not give him jail time but probation and community service and fine. It was a very stressful time for all of those who loved him as it is also for you… my thoughts are with you and Ming….. Diane

  11. I so feel for you–having just survived an accident last Friday which could have been a lot worse–my car is totalled but I am okay and so is the kid who ran into me–I cannot imagine what you are going through–bigs hugs

  12. My thoughts are with you during this scary time. Something tells me it won’t be as bad you as you imagine. HUGS>

  13. janeslog says:

    Gravel is a very difficult surface to drive on as you can loose traction, especially round bends. It’s as bad as ice. I hope the courts take that into consideration.

  14. Trisha says:

    I’m so glad everyone will be okay. But what a harsh way for all the kids to learn about driving safety. I’ll continue to hope that the court will take it easy on Ming. He’s probably haunted by the accident even if he’s not talking about it.

  15. Hmm, I understand Ming wanting the accident to “go away” but something that serious doesn’t go away that easily. It seems he wants to brush it off, but that’s not how life works, and this may be a good life lesson for him in the end. I think he’s displaying a typical teenager attitude, and it’s hard for the rest of us adults to understand. That’s because that’s not what society expects after such event. As much as I hope the courts will be fair to him, I hope he grows up as a result. What a tough lesson to learn, I feel for you.

    • jmgoyder says:

      After an hour with the lawyer and barrister today I realized that Ming has now talked a lot more than I gave him credit for – the police interview was hours and the car insurance interview was a couple of hours – same with 3rd party insurance interview. He also faced up to my whole family at the hospital here and then in Perth the next day, and did a lot of talking/apologizing, hugging, And with 10 references, he has had to read about the accident several times and then ring and thank everyone, Maybe, also, the fact that for over a month I was a crying, shaking wreck, he felt it best not to talk about it to me – not sure. His resilence is probably saving him from insanity at this point but I’m not sure about that either – sigh. Thanks beautiful friendxxx

  16. I hope Ming stays strong and resilient. I so appreciate his attitude as you express it. I am so relieved to hear of the healing. Continued blessings to all of you.

    • jmgoyder says:

      I am beginning to realize that his ability to be resilient may be because this is not his first life crisis (i.e. his back surgery and his dad’s health etc.) I wonder if that’s why he seems to be coping okay when I am not.

      • I have been reading a lot of Mister Roger’s. Of “Mister Roger’s Neighborhood”. I don’t know if you got his show in Australia. If not, he was an iconic symbol to us as children, not to mention as adults too. One of his quotes I just read yesterday: “There’s no ‘should’ or ‘should not’ when it comes to having feelings. They’re part of who we are and their origins are beyond our control. When we can believe that, we may find it easier to make constructive choices about what to do with those feelings”. I thought of this when I read your comment. Of course I only see you through your words, but you appear to be very resilient, you’re sharing your experience in a very open and honest way. Which seems to be a great way to cope for you, and a great way of learning, for us. I suspect what I do see through your words, is resilience. 🙂 Just different.

  17. Agree with what niasunset wrote and hope that the courts are lenient on him. What could possibly be achieved by anything than he’s already lived through? Holding positive thoughts for you and Ming. Thanks for keeping us posted.

  18. tootlepedal says:

    I hope he gets the best result that he can. My thoughts are with you both.

  19. bulldog says:

    This is a difficult time for you and Ming… but it worries me that Ming does not discuss the day or accident with you,,, it might not be good for him to keep it all bottled up inside… I hope the court results are favorable for you both… my thoughts and prayers go with you Julie and Ming…

    • jmgoyder says:

      Thanks Bulldog – it may be that, since the accident was eight weeks ago, it has already been talked about so much that he can’t take any more? I am not sure. I/we really appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

  20. ksbeth says:

    i hope that all goes okay with this, you all have suffered way more than enough –

  21. Terry says:

    great educational post!!!!! I am proud of you!

  22. What a terribly stressful and scary time. Wishing you the best.

  23. Helen says:

    I believe there is a reason for every thing that happens. I always tell my girls you can find a positive in every situation if you look hard enough. This experience the children have had could effect their approach to driving when they learn and potentially prevent a more serious accident than this one in one of their futures. It may sound silly but it’s what I truly believe. xx

  24. Hugs to you, Julie, as you traverse this difficult passage in your lives. I pray for added strength in the days and weeks ahead. x

  25. Judith Post says:

    This just breaks my heart. Good luck to you and Ming. I’ve never met him, but he reminds me SO much of our Nathan.

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