One day we were running late. And in order to meet the train on time, we let the kids out of the car across the road from their bus stop. Molly didn’t like this idea and cried that she wanted to be taken directly to the bus as always. I told her to stop being silly ... that mom would help her cross (Fulmer Rd).
While I sat behind the steering wheel watching them in front of me, Denny dashed across during a break in the traffic. But, Molly’s shorter legs prevented her from doing that, and she continued holding her mom’s hand waiting for the next opportunity.
When it looked like another break was coming, Frannie said, "O.K., you can go after this car" referring to one approaching from behind where I had parked. Molly, meanwhile, was looking at a closer vehicle coming from the opposite direction. Thinking this was the one her mom referred to, she broke away from Frannie’s grip after it passed and dashed into the street ... not knowing the other vehicle behind me was still coming.
It seemed like "time" went into slow-motion for me at that moment ... I was able to analyze how fast Molly was running, and in the rear-view mirror I could also see how fast the car was approaching from behind ... the timing for contact was perfect and there was nothing I could do but shout!
After the car passed and screeched to a stop, I saw Molly's hat come tumbling out from beneath it. Frannie, in her panic, ran up to the driver and began beating on his windshield screaming, "You hit my little girl!" Meanwhile, I was TRAPPED, unable to figure out how to release the damn seatbelt! And I prayed ... "God, please don’t let this be true what I’ve just seen happen!"
At first we were unable to find Molly. She had been thrown forward onto the front lawn of a nearby house and surely would have been killed if the driver (a guy named David Tanner) hadn't been so alert. He was crying like the rest of us while neighbors called an ambulance.
Doctors at the hospital had some initial concerns about a brain injury because Molly wouldn’t TALK at first. A few hours later when she DID begin to speak, she used a lot of "baby talk" probably because of being in shock. Eventually everything returned to normal. Miraculously she survived with only a big bruise.