|(1-15-09) From Bob Harris:
"I thought it would never stop flipping.
It felt like five people were hitting me as hard as they could with baseball
bats. When I was upside down in the air, I remember seeing the ground coming
up at me. The car came to rest on top of me.
You sit between both fuel tanks, and
one had burst and soaked me in fuel. I never lost conciousness, but my
vision was impaired because of blood in my eyes. I was thinking that the
car was going to burst into flames at any moment as the engine was white
hot. Of course, the biggest fear would be burning to death. I knew one
of my hands was visible from under the car, so I started scratching the
dirt as hard as I could to let people know I was alive.
The next thing I heard was everybody
yelling and trying to lift the car off of me. I don't think that anyone
is aware of this, but the person who was yelling orders and taking charge
of getting me out from under the car, was the national Indy car champion,
They lifted the car partway and started
pulling me out from underneath. The other fuel tank had been damaged and
compressed. This caused it to let go and spray fuel everywhere. Thinking
that the car was now going to explode, they dropped it on the back of my
legs and ran. The radiator return is in the frame, and it was now resting
on the back of my legs. It was burning so bad, I thought for sure that
I was on fire. I remember hearing Sam Hanks screaming at everybody "Get
back and lift this car!" He was really yelling. They pulled me out and
I remember them saying that they were going to get me in the ambulance.
This might sound really odd, but the
sensation I remember having was that my chest was split open, and my heart
was laying in the dirt, still beating covered in dirt and rocks! That is
so far out, that I laugh today when I think about it. I thought I had only
moments left to live.
Davey MacDonald rode in the ambulance
with me to the Cottage Hospital. Any big bumps in the road were causing
me tremendous pain. I really couldn't talk, but somehow I told Davey that
this driver is killing me. Davey started shouting to the driver "Slow down,
he can't take the bumps" I think he hit railroad tracks, etc. I heard the
driver tell Davey "I'm driving this, not you." Which started an argument
for most of the trip to the hospital. They were screaming "What is your
religion!" They wanted to give me the last rites. I was laid up for about
six months. I had numerous injuries consisting of: Three crushed vertabrae,
every rib on my left side was broken, my left lung was torn from the lining,
broken left scapula, fractured left knee and ankle, every muscle in my
back had been ripped, numerous cuts with stitches on my left arm and hand,
and smashed goggles leaving me with a bloody face. The pain from the back
injury is with me to this day."