Monday 20 November 2017

Road crash victim's moving letter to teen driver who knocked her down: 'What bothers me most? You never, ever said you're sorry'

A woman who was knocked down by an under age driver writes a letter to him, 18 years on. (Stock photo)
A woman who was knocked down by an under age driver writes a letter to him, 18 years on. (Stock photo)
Stock photo

Every week, the Sunday Independent invites its readers to send in the letter they wish they'd sent - but never did.

This week, a powerful letter arrived into the Sunday Independent, one by a woman who was knocked down by her young neighbour. He was under age, couldn't drive, and did not have the car owner's permission to drive the car.

Here she addresses him:

"Dear X,

It’s almost 18 years later and you are a person who still occupies space in my mind — not a lot, but I think of you occasionally. I wonder how you are and what you are doing with your life.

I used to see you in your little car driving around the area. I wonder if you ever give me a thought?

Who am I? I’m the woman who happened to get in your way the day you decided to take your sister’s car out for a drive — even though you were barely tall enough to see over the top of the steering wheel.

I was out for a Sunday afternoon walk with my husband; we discussed whether or not we would go to the local pub for an early evening drink or continue our walk; in the end we just continued our walk past the pub and down a disused road which was a short-cut back to our home.

You and your friend decided to take your sister’s car out for a drive, in spite of the fact that A. you were under age, B. you didn’t know how to drive, and C. you didn’t have the owner’s permission.

You drove the car down this disused road, lost control and ploughed into me, threw me up in the air and, as I landed on the bonnet of the car, you continued for several metres until you hit a tree, at which point I was thrown on to the road, unconscious.

This was witnessed by my poor husband who didn’t know if I was alive or dead.

Well, I was alive and I have lived to tell the tale, but at what cost? For the past 18 years I have suffered extreme pain, discomfort, operations, and regular hospital visits (continuing to this day), of which you are blissfully unaware. 

You know what bothers me most? It is that you never, ever said you were sorry.

I think if you had had the courage to knock on my door and face me and tell me you were sorry, my journey towards recovery would have been so much easier. But you didn’t. And so I wonder how have you, the adult, reconciled all of this in your mind?

I hope you’re having a good life but I also hope that you occasionally give me a thought and perhaps a wee prayer.

Best wishes,

F

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