Didn’t have a scratch on him

My name is Steven Moody and I was a paramedic in Salina for 28 years and am currently the Fire Chief in El Dorado. The experience I’d like to share happened during my early years in Salina. I was called to a one-vehicle crash involving a rural mail carrier who I’ll refer to as Bob (not his real name). I rode with him in the ambulance and he conveyed to me how the crash occurred before he lost consciousness. And I’d like to share Bob’s story and mine … 

Houses in rural central Kansas are sometimes far and in between. So, it gave Bob the chance to do a bit of mail sorting while driving from one house to the next.

And that was what Bob was doing this particular day. 

Like many Kansas roads, this one was loose sand and gravel. And, the terrain was as flat as a pancake – one could see as far as one’s sight would allow. 

Bob was sorting his mail as he drove along the desolate road. No problem, or so he thought.  But, in the blink of an eye the right front tire drifted into the loose gravel.  The car was immediately pulled towards the ditch.

In response Bob quickly turned the steering wheel to the left in an effort to bring the car back from the ditch. Regrettably, when Bob did this instead of pulling the car back onto the roadway it tilted the car. 

And it didn’t stop there. The car kept tilting until it rolled completely onto its top. 

Another unfortunate thing was Bob’s lack of seat belt usage. As the car rolled onto its top, Bob came out of his seat and slammed his head forward when it struck the inside of the rooftop.

As the medic in charge, I walked up to the side of the vehicle and asked Bob if he was hurt. Bob’s response back was, “I can’t feel anything.” 

Bob didn’t have a scratch on him, but his injury was serious. He had broken his neck.  Bob was taken to the hospital, but sadly he did not survive his injury. 

Bob had violated two driving operator rules – he had been inattentive and he failed to use his seat belt.

Learn the lessons from Bob. You can be killed with just the right mechanism of injury.  Follow all the safety rules knowing your life could depend upon it.   



  1. Thanks, Steven, for sharing your unforgettable experience with “Bob” – a memory that I’m certain you’d prefer not having.

    It's been interesting to read all of the blogs, and I can't help but notice a common theme: In the blink of an eye, someone's life has been changed.

    I've also noticed it doesn't matter if people were on a bicycle or motorcycle, in a train, car, pickup, or van, or whether those people were on the streets of a busy city or a small town, on an interstate highway or a country lane. SOMEONE made a bad choice, resulting in a tragedy or a memory that just won't ever be erased.

    Hopefully we can all learn from the memories people have shared, and not just “Put the Brakes on Fatalities” ONE day a year, but make the “Drive to Zero Fatalities” a reality.

  2. Anonymous9/29/2016

    Steve, thanks for sharing a sad story about an incident that cost someone their life. Even on a low volume road, inattentive driving and not wearing a seat belt can be the cause for a crash and the loss of a life. Following your advice when driving on any highway, road or street is so important to save lives.

    Larry Emig