Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Accident in San Pedro

So I'm urging everyone to not freak out about this, but we were in a serious car accident this past weekend while driving through the desert on our way to see the Geysers in San Pedro. I'll try and so the best to give everyone the details of what happened and how everyone is fairing, but everything is still a bit fuzzy...

Anyways, so what happened was, we all went to a town to the north for the weekend. It's called San Sedro and it is located in the middle of the Atacama Desert. Sena, Jamie, Levi, Me and our friend from Chile, Juan, were all the people that were in the car for the expedition. On Sunday morning we decided to go see the geysers in the mountain and Jaun new the way to get there... its a very popular destination and they have tours that leave every morning at 4 a.m. to get to the geysers by 7 a.m. (its around a 3 hour drive through shotty dirt trails that weave through the desert, apparently this is one of the most dangerous routes in chile... we didn't know.) Sena, Levi and I were in the back seat, Jamie in the front and Juan was driving. We started to follow one of the tour buses but lost them two hours into the drive, luckily we saw there head lights up ahead and sped up only a little to try and catch up to them. Juan lost control of the car and it started to swirve uncontrolably ( driving on these dirt road is similar to driving on a paved road that is covered with water... it's easy to hydroplane, or whatever the equivilant to that would be on dirt, there is no traction.) then we proceded to fly off the road at about 80 km an hour and the car flipped 3 times. Sena flew out of the car and the rest of us were stuck inside, thank God we are all alive because a similar accident happened about a year ago and two of the passengers died. Since we were so far away from the town center we had to lay in the desert in -16 degree weather for about two hours, with some pretty serious injuries, before any medical personell arrived. They finally got to where we were and carried us off in ambulances to the clinic in San Pedro. This is such a small twon that they don't have a hospital, so without knowing what was wrong with us - we had no x-rays or real medical attention besides painkillers so we didn't have to fell our broken bones - we were shipped off to a hospital about an hour to the south which is where we stayed for almost a day... there the doctors discovered that Sena had two fractured vertebrates in her lower back - don't worry though she is not paralysed and can move her lower body perfectly -although they do have to perform a surgery and put a few pins in her back so that the vertebrates heal faster. She will probably be in recovery for the next couple of weeks but they say in about three weeks she should be able to walk and do whatever she needs. Jamie has a compound fracture in her ankle and is also undergoing surgery, her foot was caught under the car during the accident so it crushed her bone in her ankle and fractured a few of her other bones in her right leg. After her surgery she will be in bed for a bit but will recieve crutches and she will be able to hobble around. Levi split open his head and had to have around 20 stitches... he had slight amnesia for a day, and suffered a a bad concusion, but is now completely recovered from the amnesia, is all bandaged up and is walking around like new. I only suffered a slight concusion a few fractured toes and a sprained ankle which is keeping me in my bed and will continue to keep me there for the next couple of days, but i'm supposed to get a new cast soon and a pair of crutches so that i can walk around and continue working. Juan lucked out the best out of us all and only has a case of whip lash... so no deadly or permanante injuries on anyones account!

I just want to ask everyone to keep us in your prayers, especially Sena and Jamie! Sorry that I could not respond to each of you personally, but I have recieved quite a few e-mails concerning the accident and I decided that this was the best way to get back to you all in the most timely manner. W are in very good hands down here! All of the English Opens Doors Volunteers and Directors have been more than helpful and have been in the hospital with the girls every waking moment. They are taking care of our health insurance issues and helping us with communication issues. Thank you all so much for your support, everyone down here is so thankful to have people in the states that are thinking about us and praying for us. We love you all and can't wait to hear from you.


  1. Thank you Liz for updating this! I'm praying for Sena and Jamie. I hope you get better soon!

  2. I'm glad you're alright. Very sorry to hear about all that.

  3. love you girls...glad to hear that everythings alright...just heard from ben today about the accident...thanks for making a post about it

    give sena a hug for me, and tell her we're all thinking about her (and of course you, too, liz)

    stay safe, wishing you all a fast recovery

    Tres leches will resume when sena can get up and i can hobble....
    ps thank you everyone who was thinking about us... so much appreciation! we are lucky that we were all together to get through this with semi smiles and chuckle the whole time despite the pain!

  5. Hey Sena and group, We are sooo pleased that you are all alright... What a scary experience. We are keeping you in our Prayers and also keeping up through your Aunt Susie...Our Neice... Keep up the healing

  6. What a terrifying experience this must have been for all of you! I am so glad to hear that everyone will have a full recovery. Please tell Sena that everyone from the Price Lab at UF is wishing her a speedy recovery and will be sending positive vibes her way. Has her family been able to travel to Chile to be there with her?

  7. Congrats on everyone for making it through OK. I can't imagine what laying there waiting for help must have been like. We're keeping our fingers crossed for everyone. Hang in there Sena.