Driving lesson ends badly
January 20, 2009 · 4:15 PM
Traffic accidents can quicken the learning curve, as one Oak Harbor teen discovered Friday afternoon.
With learner’s permit freshly in hand and one driving lesson under her belt, 15-year-old Stephanie Bigelow and her father Paul took advantage of the sunny afternoon and went for a spin in the family’s Mitsubishi Eclipse after school.
But the lesson went badly as the two traveled southbound on West Beach Road. Bigelow accidentally accelerated through a turn onto Fort Nugent Road — spinning the car out of control — and slammed hood-first into the side of a one-ton Ford truck stopped at the intersection, waiting to turn onto West Beach from Fort Nugent.
Both driver and passenger appeared to escape serious injury, but paramedics took the teen to Whidbey General Hospital as a precaution because she hit her head on the steering wheel upon impact.
The air bags did not activate, which was a surprise to her father and the responding officers.
But Bigelow is just happy that his daughter is fine.
“You can replace a car, but you can’t replace a kid,” he said, adding that he should have waited until his daughter had taken another lesson or two, which would have allowed her more time to practice with a driving instructor.
Matthew Murphy, driver of the one-ton truck, was not injured.