Nurse Trapped in Deadly Texas Pileup Crawled Out Car Trunk and Reported to Work

Updated:   Published

Does it make sense to go to work after a car accident like the one this nurse was in? Thoughts? Should the nurse have helped any of the injured people, went to the emergency room or went to work?

"It's an incredible story you have to watch! This Texas nurse was headed to work when she became trapped in the deadly Fort Worth pileup. But that didn't stop her from doing her job. Her interview in the video above." abcnews

https://abc13.com/texas-fatal-pileup-crash-nurse-crawls-out-of-deadly-who-survived-reports-for-work-massive-pile-up-and-workd/10331588

Nunya, BSN

771 Posts

Specializes in NICU/Mother-Baby/Peds/Mgmt. Has 41 years experience.

I would have called work and said I wasn't coming in then would have started checking on people.  Probably would have gone home if I was OK but then definitely would have gone to the doctor or er later to get checked out.  Wouldn't have gone to any er that night cuz I'm sure they were busy enough already.

Specializes in Wound Care, Med-Surg, Rehab. Has 8 years experience.

There is something so completely odd about this. I get not wanting to leave your coworkers in a pinch, but you just had a traumatic event, could have internal injuries, left your smashed car on the roadway, and left people who were potentially injured. I don’t get this at all. 

JBudd, MSN

1 Article; 3,836 Posts

Specializes in Trauma, Teaching. Has 42 years experience.

She may not have been dressed adequately to be able to take care of people, or the first-on-scene skills.  Getting out of the way is sometimes the best thing you can do.  But, I wasn't there, just playing devil's advocate.

I probably would not have gone to work, but she did have the two hours wait in the car with the co-worker so if anything was really wrong they had time to notice.

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

1 Article; 922 Posts

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 16 years experience.

Well, this will probably sound weird. When at the beginning of my career I had just started a new job, literally just finished system orientation and that was going to be my second day on the floor. We had an electrical fire that woke us up a couple hours before I was to report to work, had to call 911, the works for the fire. It was time for me to go to work when the firefighters had just arrived. I called my supervisor to let her know I wouldn't be there due to a fire in my house and was chastised and told that unless my house was quote "in ashes" I was expected to be there. I was facing the possibility of losing my home, I was already not in a good financial situation, and couldn't afford to lose my job. I didn't have my scrubs with me, obviously, so I went back into the house despite the protests of the firefighters, and got my scrubs that were in the opposite side of the house from the fire's location. I got out unscathed, fortunately, and left to go to work with my spouse remaining to contend with the situation. I was extremely upset of course and I didn't know if I'd have a home to return to. I arrived to work, on time, and the night shift supervisor happened to be on the floor when I arrived, I must have appeared visibly shaken because she asked me if I was okay. I explained to her what had happened and immediately told me I "didn't need to be here" and sent me home and allayed any fears I had about being punished for not being there.

I know how stupid my decisions sound, but I was more terrified of living out of a box then I was of being trapped in a burning house.

Due to my own experiences, I can't judge her decision to report to work despite the accident.

Davey Do

1 Article; 10,179 Posts

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 44 years experience.
2 hours ago, TheMoonisMyLantern said:

I called my supervisor to let her know I wouldn't be there due to a fire in my house and was chastised and told that unless my house was quote "in ashes" I was expected to be there.

One hot Summer July a few years back, there were storms that knocked out the power in a relatively large area. My medical nurse wife Belinda and I came up our long rural driveway from work from our MN shifts to find two large red oak trees had been knocked down by the storms.

We left my 4WD Jeep parked by the fallen trees and transversed some relatively rough terrain in order to get to our house where the power was out.

"It was so hot", as my Dad use to say, "the corn we had stored in the barn popped, the old mule thought it was snow, and froze to death!"

I wasn't scheduled for work that night and set out to remove the trees with the help of a few guys with chainsaws.

I encouraged Belinda to call off since there was no way she would be getting any sleep. The blonde bubbled-headed house sup, Beth, told Belinda, "You can come in! I had to shower in the dark, and I came in!"

Some have the ability to govern themselves, are a majority of one, and act according to their decisions.

Specializes in NICU, ICU, PICU, Academia. Has 46 years experience.
7 hours ago, Iheartwoundcare said:

There is something so completely odd about this. I get not wanting to leave your coworkers in a pinch, but you just had a traumatic event, could have internal injuries, left your smashed car on the roadway, and left people who were potentially injured. I don’t get this at all. 

Yeah- I am not sure how to feel about this. 

Davey Do

1 Article; 10,179 Posts

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 44 years experience.

December 5, 2013, I was coming home from working my MN shift, traveling on a major interstate. Freezing rain was predicted for later that day.

Although the speed limit is 65 mph, I chose to drive about 50 mph. The other drivers were going their usual speed. The precipitation was so light, I needed only to use my one wipe now and again.

I came to an overpass and my '07 4WD Toyota pickup took off like a shot. It hit a concrete guardrail, careened into the air, and landed upside down.

In my memory, it seemed that my pickup was speedily sliding through the snow, upside down, on a grassy surface between the north and southbound lanes of the interstate. I remember thinking, "This is going to stop sometime".

My pickup came to rest right side up. I sat there and took inventory. Three guys came running up to my pickup, wide-eyed and breathlessly asked, "Are you okay?!" "Yeah- I think so", I replied.

"Man!" one of the guys exclaimed, "I saw your pickup hit the guardrail, sail into the air about ten to fifteen feet, and then roll over three or four times!"

Sometimes, during traumatic events, our perception of reality is skewed.

 

 

mva12513.jpg.5856ba5c2eaf2967d8677f84e8fe8b3a.jpg

 

subee, MSN, CRNA

4,399 Posts

Specializes in CRNA, Finally retired. Has 51 years experience.

We weren't considered "seasoned" unless we had totaled at least 1 car coming to work.  I totaled 3!  Lots of ice and deer.  Went to work after 2 of them.

Davey Do

1 Article; 10,179 Posts

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 44 years experience.

Driving some older vehicles, for example: I drove my '85 Toyota pickup for nearly 20 years, I sometimes had mechanical problems on the way to and from work.

One night, my '02 Ford Ranger's exhaust system broke apart. I fixed it on the roadside of an interstate using my cell for light and reattaching the exhaust using a hanger wire.

I have used hanger wire for many jobs, from Dave-rigging  the transmission linkage on my '68 Ford pickup to helping a coworker get his keys that were locked inside his car.

I called in one night saying that I was going to be late, due to a flat tire that I had to replace in the dark of a rainy night.

I was 10 minutes late for work and my work wife, Eleanor, was quite impressed.

 

I appreciate all the different perspectives. I remember meeting a nurse for the first time in shift report. It was her first time working on our unit. She was fine at the start of the shift report but towards the middle of it started shaking and crying. She then says she was in a car accident and her car flipped over and spun in a circle. She reassured the staff that she was okay although she had not been checked out in the ED. In my mind I kept thinking, I don't know if I would have came to work.  The point is everyone makes decisions according to what they think is right and it doesn't always make sense to others, and trauma can throw off your thinking. 

Davey Do

1 Article; 10,179 Posts

Specializes in Psych (25 years), Medical (15 years). Has 44 years experience.
On 2/14/2021 at 6:11 AM, TheMoonisMyLantern said:

I called my supervisor to let her know I wouldn't be there due to a fire in my house and was chastised and told that unless my house was quote "in ashes" I was expected to be there.

I was thinking about your post after signing off last night, Moon, and what an terribly calloused, unfeeling so and so this sup was.

It's almost unimaginable to me to think that the sup expected you to come into work after such a traumatic event.

The sup's action makes me want to punch them in the face.

And, although I've never hit a woman, if the sup was female, for her, I'd make an exception.