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Kelly Dodd: My Life Flashed Before My Eyes
"It happened so fast, we could only hold on for dear life and hope for the best."
For me this week’s episode, “Shock and Roll” is all about the drive from hell in Heather’s “luxury” RV, the very scary RZR dune buggy accident, Tamra and Vicki’s injuries, which resulted in Tamra being taken by ambulance to a local hospital, and Vicki being life-flighted to a hospital in Palm Springs, then the aftermath...
It was fun watching everyone get geared up for Glamis. Michael and I shopping for camping gear. Tamra and Eddie shopping for helmets for all of us. Principal Dubrow getting her fancy RV ready for the weekend.
Tamra and Eddie were gracious hosts. They put a lot of thought and effort into making it a memorable birthday weekend for Eddie and a good time for all of us. A huge thank you to the Judges. It was a weekend I will never forget.
The bus ride to Glamis took FOREVER!!! We went down Ortega highway, which has to be the windiest road to the desert. I have a long history of motion sickness. It’s very difficult for me to go on boats, trains, long car rides and winding roads without getting sick. Because I actually threw up twice, I clogged the toilet. That is why we had to stop and find a bush for Nicky along the way.
The campsite was awesome! Other than Heather, we each had our own campers for the weekend. Tamra gave the campsite her feminine touches. It was surprising elegant and cute. All around us dune buggies were flying by. It was like having a racetrack in your backyard.
We all settled in, had dinner, a few drinks and slept well that first night.
The next morning when we got into the dune buggy, I felt 100% comfortable with Tamra driving. She is very experienced and I knew I would be in good hands. As we drove, the sand was getting in my face and my mouth. I thought gross! All of a sudden I started to get claustrophobic. I loosened my helmet because I started to have anxiety. I realized that was stupid, so I tried to put on the helmet strap back on tight. Obviously that didn’t work. It took only an instant for me to lose my helmet when we flipped. A word of advice to all, make sure your helmet is always strapped on tight.
In preparation for the trip, I did a little research on Glamis. When viewing and judging the reasons for the wreck, it’s important to note that even for the most experienced dune racer, the dunes can be treacherous. The reason is that the dunes are constantly shifting and being reshaped by the wind. Day to day the changes and be significant. The shape of the dune side facing the wind is a completely different the shape of the backside. The backsides can be extremely steep. You really cannot see what’s on the other side as you approach each peak. Right before our accident, as we passed a peak on a dune, we were out of kilter and we went airborne, which caused us to flip.
It happened so fast, we could only hold on for dear life and hope for the best. My life flashed before my eyes and all I could think about was my beautiful daughter and what if I never saw her again?
It’s hard to tell from the footage, but the roof of the dune buggy collapsed on top of Heather and Tamra’s heads. The roof was extremely heavy, maybe 70 to 100 pounds. Get all that weight moving, and the force hitting them was unbelievable. It’s a miracle they survived the impact.
When the dust literally settled I was in shock, a little freaked out, and felt blessed that I was okay. My attention immediately turned to Vicki who was badly hurt and clearly struggling. Tamra and Vicki were laid out being attended to by the EMTs for what seemed like a long time. To the EMT’s credit, they did a fabulous job and were extremely professional. I am sure their actions prevented Tamra’s and Vicki’s injuries from being exacerbated. A huge thank you to the Park Rangers, EMTs, and Evolution support staff.
Heather too was instrumental in preventing further injuries. She was cool and calm under pressure and used her MTD [married to doctor] to full effect. Her insisting that “nobody move” and telling the first responders to keep the injured ladies helmets on was excellent advice.
Both Tamra and Vicki were in a lot of pain. Since their injuries were different it's hard to compare, but at the moment it seemed like Vicki was more severely hurt and at greater risk of spinal injury, nerve damage, concussion, internal injury, etc. Life-flighting Vicki to the trauma hospital in Palm Springs was the right decision.
A final thought on the wreck, wasn’t it adorable to hear Heather’s son, Nicky, tell my daughter, Jolie, “I am just glad that my mom and your mom are okay.” That was so sweet. I shed a tear.
After Tamra and Vicki were taken to the hospitals, Heather and I were still shaken up, but we did our best to calm down and follow-up with people who needed to know what had happened.
Heather’s comment, whilst on the phone with Meghan about me drinking beer has a back-story. Earlier, during the RV ride I was explaining to Heather that I don’t drink beer because it immediately puts weight on me. We both agreed most our “freshman 15” in college was due to beer. So, she was surprised when I popped open a beer as I sat down next to her. Her comment was a spontaneous reaction to seeing me with a beer, in hand. She wasn’t judging that I was drinking after all we had just gone through. She just expected me to be holding wine or champagne.
Back at the campsite, Heather and I decided that since Meghan and Shannon were only 15 to 30 minutes away from the hospital Vicki was life-flighted to, we would call them to let them know what happened. Heather called Meghan first because we thought Shannon might be with with her.
When Vicki was life-flighted she left behind her purse. She had no shoes, identification or money. At the hospital they had to cut off her clothes because they couldn’t risk moving her. So she was in Palm Springs literally with nothing and nobody by her side!
Despite their strained and tenuous relationship with Vicki, I fully expected that Meghan would respond like most caring adults and express concern for her. Even though we at times may struggle in our relationships and have our differences, we all naturally share the common experience of being in the same circle of friends.
When Heather and I heard Meghan’s reaction and reluctance to go the hospital and show support for Vicki (of course would have meant disrupting her golf game) we were beside ourselves in disbelief. As much as I at times have detested Shannon for (in my opinion her) setting me up, I would absolutely help her in any way I could if she was injured and hospitalized (I pray this never happens). I would do that in an instant.
In her blog last week, Meghan told everyone I need to be more self-aware and empathize with another person’s perspective. How absolutely ironic that when, Meghan should have shown empathy for someone, she proves that she has none!
It gets worse from here folks. You think you know these women? You may be shocked at what comes next. Stay tuned for next week.