It happened on her way to work. At 65-70 mph she literally glanced down to look at the radio for a second or two, next thing she knew the car had drifted into the gravel shoulder and she lost traction. She tried to regain control and over compensated, panicked when she saw herself heading straight for a power pole, and slammed on the brakes which did her no good in the gravel.....same problem, no traction. She hit the pole at full speed right in the center of the car. The impact broke the steering column completely and drove the standard transmission into the middle of the front seat. I came very close to losing easy child this morning. If she had not been wearing her seat belt and the air bags had not deployed I would be planning a funeral, instead of wondering how we're going to juggle care of 3 little boys over the next months. FIVE cars passed her on that quiet rural highway. NO ONE stopped. After the 5th car easy child realized no one was going to help her. Her right leg was a mess and causing excruciating pain.....she knew she shouldn't move but she had to find her cell to call for help. She tried to call her husband several times but he didn't answer. She tried to call 911 but the operator couldn't seem to understand her.......and she couldn't remember what highway she was on. About that time a guy who was VERY late to work stopped to check on her and see if he could help. The little elderly man who lived not far from the accident made it to the scene. They told her the info to give to 911 to get the medics and sheriff on the way. She didn't get an answer from her husband because the calls never went through, she must have been dialing the number wrong. Nurses in the ER at the county hospital where she used to work (and where medics took her) called sister in law for her. He then rushed over to get me to watch the boys so he could run to the ER. This was at 7:45 am. easy child has a nasty bruised laceration across her neck from the seat belt, an imprint of the belt on her chest, abrasions on her face from the air bags, and broke herright leg in 4 places right above the ankle and also broke the ankle.....bones were jutting at odd angles. Docs were surprised none broke through the skin. She went into surgery today at 2:30 to set the fractures and assess internal damage to the leg and ankle joint. They had to screw her bones back into place. Due to extensive swelling, they can't cast her yet. doctor isn't expecting to be able to cast her for about 3 days. Then she isn't allowed to put ANY weight on it for at least 4 wks, maybe longer.......then if she's lucky she'll get the moon boot for several more weeks along with PT. Silly girl thinks everyone should be mad at her for doing such a stupid thing. sister in law was planning to go dirt biking tomorrow.....of course now that is cancelled. We'd planned the Myrtle Beach trip the end of summer, that is cancelled too as now neither she nor sister in law will be able to take the time off work. There is the worry over lost wages. She's hoping for short term disability, but it's not supposed to kick in until you've been there 6 mos and she's only been there 4. FMLA she can't get because she hasn't been there long enough and so she's worried she might not have a job to go back to. Me? I'm just very grateful my baby girl is alive, even if it's with a pretty mangled right leg/ankle.