By Morgan Lang
Many teachers and students have been involved in dangerous car crashes. One teacher’s car completely flipped over on Friday the 13th, another teacher broke her back after slamming into a brick mailbox, and a different teacher wiped out right into a ditch after his high school graduation.
And then there's Mr. Hoffman, Director of College Guidance, who was stuck in a traffic jam on the Fourth of July in 2006, because someone thought it would be a smart idea to set off fireworks from their car.
“Some yahoos were just shooting off Roman candles while driving,” Mr. Hoffman said.
It was Friday the 13th around 10:30 at night. Sixth-grade teacher Mrs. Mager, who was in college at the time, was with four of her friends headed into Philadelphia. However, the driver was going in the wrong direction.
Once the driver realized this, they tried to get off the exit but were going too fast. They lost control of the car and it swerved to the left. The driver of the car quickly turned the wheel to the right, which resulted in their car crashing into the curb and flipping completely over.
“While the car was spinning on its top, all I could see were the sparks that it was making because of the roof skidding on the pavement,” said Mrs. Mager.
The car eventually came to a stop, and Mrs. Mager helped get the driver and herself out of the car through a shattered window. Once she was out, she yelled to her other friends to evacuate the car as quickly as possible.
Once the ambulance arrived, paramedics offered to take them to the hospital to get checked out, but none of them did so. The next morning, Mrs. Mager had numbness in her arms and fingers. She then decided to go to the hospital and had to wear a neck brace for two weeks.
One late night, English teacher Mrs. Byrne was driving down a windy road with her boyfriend during her senior year of high school. Mrs. Byrne briefly looked down to change the radio station and as soon as she looked up, her car had veered off the road and landed in a ditch. Mrs. Byrne ended up driving through a brick mailbox pillar.
Luckily for Mrs. Byrne, the pillar was thrown to the side, rather than going through her car windshield and slamming into her and her boyfriend.
Even so, both Mrs. Byrne and her boyfriend ended up injured. Mrs. Byrne fractured her back and her boyfriend broke his nose. Although the doctors told Mrs. Byrne she had broken her back, she could still walk, which in most cases people cannot.
After the fracture, she shrunk a quarter-inch. Although she didn’t need surgery, Mrs. Byrne had to take heavy medication during her recovery process.
STUDENTS CHOSE HER CAR
It was June of 2017 when Mrs. Moldofsky, the Director of the Literacy Institute, got hit while driving on Lancaster Avenue. The driver of the car that hit her had been making a left turn, and without even looking, plowed into the driver’s side of Mrs. Moldofsky’s Toyota 4 Runner, shattering all the windows in her car.
Luckily for Mrs. Moldofksy, she wasn’t hurt, which was shocking, according to a witness to the accident. “If you hadn’t been driving that big solid car, you would have been badly hurt or killed,” the witness told her.
The weird part about all of this was earlier that year in her CRW class, Mrs. Moldofsky’s students had been researching articles about safe cars. The students selected a Toyota and a Subaru as the safest cars. Coincidentally, on the same day the accident occurred, Mrs. Moldofsky had just bought and was driving the Toyota her students had picked out for her.
DAD LAUGHS AT ACCIDENT
It was June 1998 when English teacher Mr. Kupersmith was driving to a family dinner after his high school graduation. The roads were slippery because the night before his ceremony, it had rained a fair amount.
As Mr. Kupersmith and his mother were on their way to the restaurant to celebrate with his family, he was driving around a corner and his car skidded out and ended up facing the completely opposite direction. This left his car in a ditch between a tree and a telephone pole.
When Mr. Kupersmith’s father arrived at the scene, he started hysterically laughing at the fact that Mr. Kupersmith’s car was propped up in the air.
Thankfully no one in the car was injured. Although, “Our family bought a lot of Volvos for years after that,” said Mr. Kupersmith.
CONCUSSION AND NECK BRACE
Senior Hayley Needelman was with two friends in her friend’s pickup truck last August when they crashed into the car in front of them. Hayley’s head smashed into the windshield. Hayley had a concussion that required her to wear a neck brace for some time.
“Right after the crash happened, my mind kept replaying it, but it was as if I was looking down on myself from above watching it happen and watching myself hit the windshield. It was really weird,” says Hayley.
The crash affected the way she views driving. Now every time Hayley is in a car, her mind goes back to the car crash and she is significantly more scared to be in cars than she ever was before.
SENIOR HAS BEEN IN 3 ACCIDENTS
Senior Kinsey Koch has already experienced three car accidents: in third grade, seventh grade, and last year in eleventh grade.
Her first car accident occurred while her mom was pulling into a driveway, and out of nowhere, a van hit their car and completely totaled it.
When she was in seventh grade, she was involved in a three-car crash, causing her to go to the hospital in an ambulance to get checked for a concussion.
During the most recent car accident last year, Kinsey was with her friends in a car driven by her friend’s mom. As they were backing up, the car Kinsey was in hit another car. Kinsey hit her head on the back of the car seat, which gave her a severe concussion. Kinsey then had to do physical therapy for three months.
“After all of this, I will try my very best to not cause and / or be in another car accident,'' says Kinsey.
CAR WAS T-BONED
Mr. Hoffman has actually been involved in a few different car accidents, two of which were on holidays. Mr. Hoffman was once rear-ended on Christmas Eve. He was also involved in a severe car accident in 2010.
It was an early Sunday morning when Mr. Hoffman was on his way to the gym and also to pick up some breakfast for his wife. He was at an intersection waiting for the light to turn green. Once the light turned green, he went through thinking it would be safe. An SUV charged through the intersection, T-boning Mr. Hoffman's car and pushing it all the way into a Wendy’s parking lot.
Although no one ended up hurt, the experience changed the way Mr. Hoffman drives. “It was a jarring experience, for sure. It definitely taught me to watch everyone on the road at all times.”
At least something good came out of this accident for Mr. Hoffman. While he was waiting for his car to be repaired, he got to drive a red Cadillac, which, he said, gave him lots of street cred.