Gravel Road to IV’s and Bandages

Sophomores experience dramatic ATV accident

Annabelle Lynch, Contributer

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“I thought I was in an alternate universe,” sophomore Olivia Pelliccia said.

Pelliccia and her two best friends, sophomores Abbie Campbell and Zara Diedel, were involved in a serious ATV accident on May 26, 2017.

The accident happened at Campbell’s lake house in Shell Knob, Missouri just one week into the 2017 summer break. The night of the 26th, the girls went driving around the neighborhood for fun when joking around took a negative turn. Diedel was driving when the vehicle lost traction, spun out of control, and flipped on the gravel road with all three girls flying out of it.

The incident landed all three girls up in the hospital that night. Diedel had the worst of the injuries and was admitted to Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Missouri for a full week. She had a broken femur and fractured pelvis on the opposite side. Campbell had cuts on the top of her feet; they were worse than the doctors anticipated and got infected. That infection landed her back in the hospital just 24 hours after she was released. Pelliccia was released after the doctors cleaned up her road rash.

The three were all in a great amount of shock right when it happened. As a result of that adrenaline, Campbell lifted her family’s four-seater ATV off both her legs and stood up to look for a phone. She got to one of the girls’s working phones to call for help.

“I thought I was in a dream,” Campbell said.

The girls were most scared by different parts of the experience.

“This happened because of me and I was just glad they weren’t the ones who got it the worse,” Diedel said.

For Pelliccia, she explained that thinking about the worst possible effects that the accident could have had, scared her the most.

“I think it’s scary thinking about the potential that the wreck could have had because people die from these things,” Pelliccia said. “We are considered lucky that the outcome wasn’t worse and none of us are going to have permanent damages that will affect us the rest of our lives.”

Campbell couldn’t stop thinking about the amount of pain they endured.

“What scared me the most was how much pain they were in and how hurt they were,” Campbell said.

All three of the girls agreed that the accident still impacts them today, some more than others. Diedel has had five surgeries since the accident and still has trouble walking nine months later. On a mental and emotional level, she shared that the accident does not bother her so much, but for Campbell that was not the case.

“Emotionally, it actually kind of affected me a lot, right after the accident I would have nightmares about it and every time I closed my eyes, my mind went back to the scene,” Campbell said.

Her scars are now one of her biggest insecurities.

Since the accident, the girls share how it brought them even closer than they already were.  

“Not only did you have someone there who went through the same thing but you also had someone who you could talk with and they would actually understand what you were saying,” Campbell said.

All three agreed that having each other through it all made each situation and each mountain they had to climb just a little easier.

Diedel, Campbell and Pelliccia were all asked what they had learned from the accident and each said they now know when to not push the limits and to be a little more careful. Not one of them ever imagined something like this happening to them.

“People always think things like ‘Oh it’s not going to happen to me’ and then it does,” Pelliccia said.

She also explained how people should not assume bad things will never happen. 

The accident came as big surprise to the girls and their families.

“It still takes my breath away,” Campbell said.

The girls will never forget the accident or what they went through to overcome it.