Drivers provide close call stories

Five students share experiences with unsafe driving to give insight on how dangerous the road truly is


Kaylan Freeman

As junior Kaylan Freeman was on her way to work, she was driving in the left lane when she felt some trash fall onto her foot and reached down to pick it up. As Freeman picked up the trash, while the car was in motion, she looked back up to find another car merging into her lane to take the next left without a signal. She tried to slam on her brakes while honking at the man in the car, but it was already too late and she rear ended the man’s car. As a cautious driver, Freeman was left to worry about what consequences followed.

“I was just freaking out,” Freeman said. “This was my first time ever being in any kind of accident. I was scared to tell my mom.”


Regina Hernandez 

It was about 10 a.m. when junior Regina Hernandez was driving to Central Park for ROTC morning practice. Hernandez hadn’t eaten anything beforehand, so she decided to pick up breakfast at Chick-fil-A. As she was leaving the parking lot, after collecting her food, she was getting ready to turn left after she thought she was clear to turn. However, a car vastly approached Hernandez causing her to step on the “brake,” but she instead pressed the accelerator. Both cars stopped before any accidents arose, though that doesn’t mean there weren’t any internal fatalities. 

“In my head I already imagined how the cars were going to look like when they crashed,” Hernandez said. “I could hear the sound. My heart started to beat really fast when I had actually hit the brake. I could see my whole life just ending because of this.”


Samantha Taylor

Sometimes accidents don’t have to include you in them to be affected by them. Take senior Samantha Taylor for example; she was going about her day like any other student when her teacher told her during third period that her car had been in an accident. Confused and worried about her car, Taylor made her way to the front office where she found out that one of her friends hit her passenger door while trying to park their truck into the parking space beside her car that morning. After talking with the mother of the friend who caused the accident, they exchanged information, took photos of the damage and discussed how to resolve the issue. 

“Since we knew each other, we were friends and we’re in the same class, we were able to talk about it, so it wasn’t an unresolved conflict that was just there,” Taylor said. “There was no anger or emotions throughout [the accident].”


Jibran Ali

On May 2, 2022, a year into driving, senior Jibran Ali had gotten into an accident in front of the KFC on Main Street. In the car with him were his mother in the passenger seat and his two brothers in the back. As Ali slowed down in the right lane because the car in front of him was turning, his car got rear ended by a woman driving a Tesla. The car’s trunk popped open because of the accident which completely damaged the lock, making the trunk unable to shut. Because there was a language barrier, Ali and his family waited for the woman’s son to come to the scene so the issue could be resolved. After his mother exchanged information with the woman, Ali’s father came to switch cars with them and then drove the damaged car home to tow it to the body shop. With his personal experience, Ali understands the challenges of the road and advises people driving to be aware of their surroundings.

“Make sure you use your indicators,” Ali said. “There are a lot of crazy people on the road. There’s definitely people that should not have their licenses, so just be cautious of who you’re around.”


Ashley Sanjuan 

Reckless driving can affect anyone, even innocent bystanders like senior Ashley Sanjuan who got hit by a car in the school parking lot when leaving third period on the second day of school. Because Sanjuan has fourth period off, she was crossing to get to the parking lot when the accident happened near the auditorium. Staff and peers led her to sit outside of the auditorium doors while the ambulance was on its way. Once she was transferred to the hospital, Sanjuan was met with her family who came as soon as they received the call. Later they found out she had a couple of bruises scattered across her body, a road rash on the bottom of her foot and an ankle fracture. The impact of this incident still affects Sanjuan to this day when she tries to remember what exactly happened.

“At first I was more in shock, and then after [the shock] is when everything started coming down,” Sanjuan said. “I started crying and I had very different emotions.”


Safe driving is not a need; it’s a must. The effects of safe driving should be enough to make a difference, but some may not know the stories of the students sitting next to them. 

It is important for drivers to remember their actions on the road impacts the lives of others. Close calls come and go, but what happens when that luck runs out?

If only you could have been safer while driving.