Trip Report


Earning My Ears
Feb 20, 2001
About a month ago I posted a message asking for help locating a real grocery store, I got lots of good advice. I have been reading these boards for years, and had just then registered. I do not know what I would do without all the information I have gotten from these boards. Anyway, I asked for advice about directions to a store for what was our fourth visit to Disney, and my second tent camping at FW. I live in Va. and my best friend from high school lives in Texas. She has always wanted to take her daughters to DW, has been quite envious of my trips, but could not afford it. I told her I would take her, my cheap wonderful way. For months we planned this trip. I would drive down with all of the camping stuff, and she would fly in from Texas and meet us. My husband did not quite like this idea, he did not want me driving all the way to Florida with my two youngest children and no other adult, but he could not take off from work. So... I bought him a ticket, round trip out of Orlando to Washington, and vice versa. He was going to drive down with us, help unpack, go to the grocery store with me, and fly back to Washington, at the end of the week he was going to fly back and drive back with me. Very sweet.
We had reservations for 3/1 through 3/6, no crowds, no heat. I requested loop 1500, which we had stayed in before and loved. When we checked in we were given 2000, which seemed okay, but is not close to anything, and the ice machines did not work, and it is quite a trek to go get more ice, We unpacked, my friend and her two daughters arrived, and my husband I set off to the grocery store leaving my girls with my friend and her two daughters. My girls did not know my friend very well, or her daughters much at all, but we sent them off to explore and said we would meet them at 5:00, and get pizza and go to the campfire.
We had no trouble finding a Winn Dixie, went out 535,bought a weeks worth of groceries, and headed home to FW, south on 535. At ten minutes until five a drunk driver, driving very aggresively in excess of 50 mph, north, tried to pass someone to the right, but couldn't she lost control of her car, and broad sided the car traveling south in the the left lane. This made her car begin to spin, and the other car roll over and over. We were in the right lane going just under 45. I only saw the red car she hit rolling over and over in front of us, when ... she hit us spinning, with the back of her car into the front of our car. Actually she did not hit us, because she had been thrown out of her car, before it hit us. I am alive because I wear my seat belt, and let me tell you can still tell I was wearing my belt because of the bruises, my husband was driving, he had an air bag. We lived. The first man she hit did notlive, and the woman is not doing well. They were both taken away by helicopter, we got to ride in an ambulance. Our car was destroyed. All I could think was that this impossible thing had happened, but we were alive.
At the scene, people were so wonderful. I think because we had a roof top carrier on the car, and kids stuff in the car, people kept asking about our children, where were they? Someone with a cell phone put a call through to Disney World, and my husband was able to talk to someone at Ft. Wilderness, who then went to our campsite and talked to our children.
My husband sprainded his right foot and right hand, and had to have lots of glass picked out of his his hand, but we both could walk and talk, we were discharged from the hospital after about five hours, we did not know where we were, what to do, a nurse suggested we call Fort Wilderness and have them tell our group we were okay, we did and FW called a cab for us and brought us back to the site. This was very nice.
Unfortunately that is about the only helpful thing they did, not that it was their job to do anything, all we had done was rent a campsite from them. I cannot begin to describe what it is like to be without a phone, withour a car, whithout all the things that were in our car,in a gated campground, and as I wrote at the beginning loop 2000 is not close to anything at Fort Wilderness. Sleeping on an airmatress, which no longer has air because the pump worked from the car battery and is the destroyed car anyway, after being in an accident, and not able to figure out how to get the pescription for pain, is not fun. The food we planned to eat was in the car, our lanterns were in the car. The car was a $70 cab fare away.
So if any of your readers were camping March 1st-6th and saw this short middle aged woman burst into tears on a bus, or carrying ice a good distance while crying or hogging all the pay phones for hours, which by the way have horrible long distance connections, or waiting in line at the front desk to try to explain to someone yet again that I needed them to hold a key to our destroyed car and to give it to the first person who asked for it and NO I could not tell them the specific name of the person who would be picking it up, it was me, and I'm sorry.
Florida is the worst place to be if one is going to be in an accident. We will be very lucky if we recoup or losses. Wear your seat belts, drive safe cars, don't drink and drive, and don't drive aggresively. What is the rush?
Babbs, How awful!!! I am so sorry this happened to you but thankfully you and your DH were not seriously hurt. How did you manage to get home?

Hugs and Healing PD for you! TC :)
I'm so sorry your trip was so horrible! What an awful thing to happen! But, I am very glad that you and your husband are ok!

Maybe, after awhile, when things settle down - you can start thinking about another trip - it can only get better!

- Rhonda :-)
Camping Board Co-Moderator
What an awful experience. I am sure it will take quite a while to completely recover from it. I have always feared being in an accident while on vacation, and I can't imagine. I'm sure your post only began to touch the surface of it all. Just know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. I'm just glad you are all OK.


Babbs: I feel so badly for you! How horrible. LIke you said, you two survived. I wish the other party had. It really irritates me that the drunk usually, almost always, survives. I may have misread your post, but did the drunk survive?

It's really too bad that the management of the campground couldn't have or didn't help you guys anymore. I can't imagine trying to camp with injuries and no food and no car, etc. Did you ask anyone for help? Any camping neighbors? I'm always the one who seems to help people. We once waited for over 2 hrs in the Brickyard 400 traffic to help a couple and their grandbaby. Some guy waved another guy to cross in front of them in the race traffic and boom! They went sliding and almost hit us head-on. (NEVER wave a person to go, BTW, YOU can be held liable if they hit someone) Anyway, we ended up driving them back near the Speedway because they were going to pickup the baby's parents. The parents gave us a really funny look when they saw the grandma with me and the baby only 1 hr late! We also once drove a family stranded on the interstate to the next town (30mins) and to a hotel.

Like someone said, it will take a while to get over them. I've been in two accidents and I still freak when someone crossing the centerline. I had to swerve off the road to avoid getting hit head-on. There was a stupid sign and I hit it! $4,500 damage. Oh, it was the "no passing" sign. Ironic, huh? Oh, and it was considered my fault because NO ONE stopped to help or be my witness! Always, always, stop when you see an accident. Please! Even if no one is hurt. If I'd had the witnesses and there were some, it wouldn't have gone against me.

Sorry, I added all that. I really wanted to tell you how badly I felt for you in your situation.

In memory of Dale Earnhardt, Sr....

Been there, done that, going back!

Check my site:

Off-site 87, 88
All Star Music 97
All Star Music 98
All Star Movies 99
Ft Wilderness Oct 00
BWV/WLV Oct 01

Babbs, What a terrible experience to live through. But I guess the operating words here are live through. It could have been a more tragic outcome because of the drunk driver. Our best wishes for you and your family.

Andrew Lubow
Email My Adventures at Fort Wilderness
"Live every day as if it were your last. Some day you'll be right!" Benny Hill


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