Seems hard to believe but 25 years ago today, as a senior in high school, 4 of my friends and I left for our big spring break trip to Florida. First time doing anything like that on our own. We didnt have any wild & crazy plans and we didnt have a lot of money to spend. We had been saving all school year and planned on camping at a campground near Daytona. We planned on leaving about noon but one of the guys who was driving decided to get his car repaired that day and didnt show up until much later. We did finally get on the road about 3 oclock with plans on driving straight through to Florida without stopping. The trip was a blast. Hanging out in a car for that long doesnt seem so bad when you're with your best friends. As we drove down I-75 through Knoxville TN at about 3am still laughing and making fun of our friends in the other car over the cb radio, my friend, Bob, who was driving noticed a bunch of police cars coming up behind us all with the flashers and sirens going. I remember him saying he was going to get over and then out of the blue our back windshield broke out with a loud crash and our car started spinning around and around. I still remember Dave yelling "Shiiiiittttt, Shiiiiittttt, Shitttt" like it was yesterday. I had no idea what had just happened as we came to a stop off the road facing the opposite way. Bob seemed very calm as he got out of the car. Even stopped to eject the tape from the tape player first. I was in the back seat. My door was stuck and I couldnt get out which caused me to panic somewhat. Thankfully no one was seriously hurt but Bob's little Reliant K car was totalled. We were 12 hours from home on our first big trip on our own and our car was destroyed along with everything that we brought along in the trunk....our camping gear.....our stash of liquor and beer that we had worked all year collecting for this trip. Everything....and even though I was in some pain, when the officer asked me if I wanted an ambulance, all I could think of was if I do that, we aren't going to Florida!
The police officer told us what had happened to us that night. They were in a high speed chase with a drunk driver, who days before had attempted suicide. At one point they clocked him at 110mph. He was driving without his head lights as they chased him and we happened to be in his way. He only clipped the back corner of our car which sent us spinning off the road. We were lucky! Hitting us didnt stop him though. It took a crash into a cement barrier and another police car before he came to a stop.
Our trip ended up completely different than we planned after that. 4 of us did go to Florida, but we couldnt talk Bob into it. He rented a U-haul truck (the only one that would rent a vehicle to an 18 year old kid for a one way trip back to Michigan) and he drove home. I still have great memories of that trip Good and Bad and some have faded. 3:05am, April 10, 1987 is something I'll never forget though!
I just thank God that I'm still here today!