Our family

Our family
Curtis and Tav

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"When Cars Fly"

Where to start... Sunday afternoon Curtis, my sister, Tawni, her 18 month old daughter, my parents, Phil and Sharon, and myself were getting ready to go visit my grandma in Logan who has severe burns from an accident last Sunday. Curtis was going to stay home and take his son Tavner to the car show that day. We went back and forth on which car to take, either Tawni's Jaguar or my mom's Toyota Corolla. We all wanted to take the Jaguar because it is much bigger, but my mom was insistant that we should take her Corolla. We ended up deciding to take the Corolla. I got in the passenger seat and gave Curtis a kiss goodbye. Next thing I heard was really loud screeching sounds coming and we got hit. I got out of the car screaming trying to find Curtis and see if everyone was ok. I saw Tawni holding Taylor and then I looked over toward the house and Curtis was laying there with his eyes closed. His feet were up the stairs of the porch and his head was lifed up a little against the house. He was pale and not moving. Blood was pouring from the back of his head. I got my phone out of the car and called 911. I went back to Curtis and he opened his eyes and tried to move. I told him to lay still while I run inside. I went inside the house and got a towel and tried to tell the dispatch operator our address and have them send paramedics. I ran back to Curtis and put the towel under his head to try and stop the bleeding. He could feel his hands and feet but didn't talk. He had dirt and glass all over his body. I kneeled beside him holding the towel on the back of his head while the paramedics arrived. Tawni and her daughter were sitting on the porch, trying to keep her daughter away from the trauma. I looked at the scene and saw a Cadillac on top of my sister's Jaguar and the back of my mom's Corolla with the Cadillac's front end embedded in our porch pillar. There was a tree  on top of the Jaguar with literally no way out. The paramedics made my stand on the porch while they put Curtis in a C collar and put him on a stretcher. His chemo was disconnected in the crash and was leaking beside him. (I didn't even notice until I was told about it at the hospital). The paramedics lifted Curtis up and tried to get him to the ambulance. There was a narrow exit over some bricks and the hood of the Cadillac that they handed him over. I signed a release that I declined to be medically evaluated so I could ride in the ambulance with Curtis. He was already in the back when I got there and I rode in the front. We went to the University of Utah hospital. When we arrived to the ER they had a trauma room ready for him filled with at least 10 doctors, nurses, etc. They put 7 staples in the back of his head and did CT scans and Xrays. Curtis' right shoulder was hurting so they focused on that area. When Curtis was getting xrays, Tawni came in on a stretcher. I followed them down the hallway and something happened to her knee and foot. She doesn't remember what happened because she was concerned about finding her daughter. It is interesting how different things hurt after all the adrenaline is gone, and you didn't even know you were injured. I talked to Tawni, and my mom went to Primary Children's Hospital with Taylor (Tawni's daughter) to have the cut on her eye evaluated. She didn't need stitches and now has a black eye. Tawni had xrays and she ended up with a strain and a sprain in her knee, and we are thinking that he foot was run over by the Corolla because her foot was in front of the tire of the Corolla as she was buckeling Taylor's car seat in. Family starting pouring in at the hospital. Braxton, Britney and Ryan came first, Nate and Christy Mc came next. My aunt Marilyn and my cousin Skye drove all the way down from Logan to come help us. Sandy and Mike (Curtis' parents) and his sister Lydia came next. More family wanted to come, but they would only allow 2 people at a time and people were already waiting in the hallway to see him.  Curtis ended up having a concussion, 2 fractures in his scapula, whiplash, and 7 staples in the back of his head. We are all very lucky to be alive. Here is a story from KSL which is pretty accurate..
Airborne car injures 3; police tackle suspect
March 6th, 2011 @ 5:59pm
By ksl.com
SALT LAKE CITY — Six family members were in their front yard when an airborne car driven by a man fleeing police flew into their driveway and injured three of them as it skidded into the house at about 11 a.m. Sunday.
A KSL camera caught the dramatic capture of the driver on tape.

Shannon Howard said her husband, 31-year-old Curtis Howard, her 28-year-old sister, Tawni Stamm, and Stamm's 18-month-old daughter were all injured when the car came crashing into the yard of their house at 251 E. Downington Ave.

The Howards live with Shannon's parents, who were also in the front yard, when a tan Cadillac speeding down the street careened out of control and hit a car parked on the street and then a large tree in the yard next door. The impact pushed down the tree, which acted as a ramp that launched the Cadillac over a Jaguar parked in the driveway where the people were standing.
Salt Lake Police Lt. Bryce Johnson said the Cadillac hit the man as it came down. "It hit the male and launched him into the house." All three of those injured were taken by ambulance to area hospitals.

The group was getting ready to leave the house, deciding whether to take a Toyota or the Jaguar parked behind it in the driveway. "We were contemplating whether to take the Jaguar that was in the back or the Toyota, but my mom pretty much forced us to take the Toyota," Shannon said. "I was just buckling the car seat in. My sister had her daughter, standing on the other side of the car. I just heard screeching and we got hit."

"If we were in the Jag we would have been killed. We would have been putting stuff in the trunk, in the Jag, and that's exactly where the car came across. We would have been really in bad shape. We would have been standing literally where that (Cadillac) was," Shannon said. The Cadillac hit the Toyota as well as the front of the house before it came to rest.

Shannon said firefighters' hazardous materials crews were called in because the impact ruptured a container of her husband's chemotherapy drugs — he is in treatment for cancer. The group was on their way to visit a relative in Logan who had recently suffered serious burns.

Witnesses told police they saw the driver of the Cadillac climb out through the window and run away. Officers said they were looking for a 5-foot-10-inch black man wearing a black hoodie and black pants.
"I heard somebody say, 'stop him' so I picked up the rake and kept him from going in the backyard," said witness Michael Hinckley.
"It hit the male and launched him into the house. The mother, I understand, was holding the child." - Lt. Bryce Johnson
Shannon said she did not see the driver get out and run away. "I just ran to my husband. I put rags under him until paramedics arrived."

Gust Melonas lives in the house next door, where the Cadillac hit the tree. "I was watching out the window and heard some screeching from a car coming down the road," Melonas said. After the Cadillac hit the car parked on the street, it "came up on my lawn and hit a tree. The tree laid down, and this car that he was driving, it launched it right in the air, right into the neighbor's yard" where it also hit and damaged the house.

Officers with automatic weapons and search dogs scoured the area north of the crash scene looking for the driver. Police were going door to door when a man bolted from a back yard and was chased by police, who tackled him near 1700 South and Edison (150 East) just before 1 p.m.
"I'll tell you what, a little bit of excitement and adrenaline -- I hope I never see it again," said Hinckley.
Police arrested 20-year-old Albino Gabriel Juak. He was taken to an area hospital for treatment of minor injuries, said police Lt. Isaac Atencio. "I don't know whether we'll be guarding him at the hospital or whether he will be booked into jail."

Johnson said police first noticed the car at a 7-Eleven on 500 East and 1700 South. An officer noticed it did not have a rear license plate. "Our officer pulled in behind in an attempt to pull the car over," Johnson said. "When the officer did that, the car fled from her. The officer followed our policy and shut down her emergency equipment and pulled to the side of the road" because the suspect's vehicle was in a residential area.

The car sped away toward 300 East then turned west on Downington Ave. (1820 South). Another officer at the crash scene estimated the car was traveling about 80 mph before the driver lost control, careened off the car parked on the street then took out the tree.

Shannon said her husband has two fractures in his shoulder, a concussion, and a brick-shaped laceration in the back of his head. "He's doing OK. He's still at University Hospital." She said Stamm and her daughter were treated at two different hospitals and have since been released. "Her daughter went to Primary. She has a laceration on her eye and a black eye and stuff. My sister's got some torn tissue in her knee."

KSL did an interview with us today which will be on today at 5pm Tuesday, March 8th.

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