Bad Day - 8/15/10

Bad day - 8/15/10, originally uploaded by TomRubin.

Day 226 of Project 365. Have you ever had a life changing moment that you really had no business surviving? I did back on August 14, 1998. I was the driver of the Humvee that was hit by the white Semi in the background.

My truck was cut off by a small passenger car and when I slammed on the brakes, my trucks brakes partially locked up sending the Humvee into the next lane. The Semi was passing us as it happened and there really was nothing anybody could have done to avoid the accident.

The truck hit directly behind were I was sitting and I took the entire brunt of the accident. Thankfully, the other two Marines in the truck walked away shaken, but otherwise alright.

Those with sharp eyes will probably notice the helicopter in the background. That was my ride to the hospital. I might have been one of the most hated men in California that day since I had I-5 blocked for about 13 miles in each direction. This picture is from the paper and rumor has it I was on the local news broadcasts.

I was partially ejected from the truck and when the truck came to a stop, I was hit by a Volkswagen Jetta. The Jetta struck me in the chest and that's probably what ruptured my spleen. My spleen was torn in two pieces and it was floating in my chest cavity. I ended up losing approximately 2/3's of my blood, my spleen and any future career as a swimsuit model.

All in all I spent about a month in the hospital due to numerous complications including a particularly nasty blood clot in my jugular vein. The doctor said it was a miracle I was still alive and that if I wasn't a Marine, I probably would have died. I guess all that working out does pay off. The first 24 hours were rough and I wasn't expected to make it. It's quite sobering to hear that nobody thought you'd be alive and that they started working on the payout for my life insurance policy.

So, why am I posting this? Mainly as a reminder to me that bad things do happen and often without warning - so enjoy the time you have because you never know when your time is up.

Life truly is a blessing.


  1. Oh my GOSH! What an incredible story you have to tell. Life is a blessing. Apparently someone up above thought the world was better with you in it!

  2. Sarah, I agree. Life truly is a blessing! I still don't know what role if any I have to play to justify still being here, but I'm happy to be here just the same.

    I look at it like this: If you go through life unscathed, did you really live?

    Thanks for the comment :)

  3. Wow. What an incredible story, Tom. Wow.

    What a horrendous experience you went through. I'm so glad you're here today to reminisce about it...and able to be the bringer of good cloud photographs!

    Life can, indeed, change in an instant. I'm glad you survived such a harrowing experience.

  4. Thanks Amber! I appreciate the comment and the good wishes :)


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