My father’s account “well I was holding your sister (Lynne) who was standing to my left and your hand to my right when a car came flying at me from a perpendicular angle and came across hitting you and you were carried by the car until you were hurled forward into the parking lot. I followed the car with my eyes and watched it pick you up and then drop you before plowing over a woman and her baby. It literally went over them without crushing them (just scratching/scalping the baby’s head) before plowing into about 20 cars and then finally stopping. The guy was an old man who panicked and when he flew forward with his foot on the accelerating he kept going instead of stopping
Your mom was behind me with Tim (who was a baby at the time) watching. She said you lost consciousness but I didn’t think you did. You were left with an open gashes on your left cheek and were taken away by ambulance. It really was a miracle that no one was badly hurt.
The person who hit you was an older man in his 60’s or 70’s. A chauffer for the Otis family (Otis elevators it's a world wide elevator company.) He was driving a limo (Cadillac). Mrs Otis the matriarch of the family was in the car (I think?) and she wasn’t hurt. It was a big car. He panicked and instead of breaking just accelerated forward. You were hospitalized and after staying with you over night in the hospital I remember going home and taking my shirt off. My right shoulder was all black and blue. I guess he hit me too. Everyone who he hit, sued. I don’t think he drove after that.” (That is how I got my first car when Bill and I were married from the money from the lawsuit that had been kept in a trust to pay for the plastic surgery which I ended up never getting.)
For some reason when he told me the story today and the way he told it I got laughing at the thought and sight of it all.
My mom called me a few hours later to give a more detailed and accurate version:
We went to St. Thomas More church that day to the 10a or was it the 11a(?) mass and we sat in the crying room because you and your sister and brother were all little. We left early and walked across the grass b/c at that church you had to cross the grass to get to the parking lot. Do you remember that? (No mom I haven’t been in that church since I was four)
Well anyway, I was walking and carrying Tim who was five months old ahead of Dad who had you and your sister. I then heard what sounded like a plane crash it was so loud and I turned to look and the chauffeur who was waiting outside for Mrs. Otis to come out accidentally accelerated forward when you started to cross the street. I looked back when I heard that terrible noise to see that he had hit your father who was on the ground and you. You were carried forward with the car and then thrown on the ground. He then hit Linda Fumia and her baby. The car went over them practically scalping the baby but the wheels didn’t go over them just the body of the car did. So they were ok. (Did you know her mom?) Yes, she is Vicky Fumia’s sister. I went to school with Vicky. (Mom, did Mrs. Otis live in Rochester?) (Pause) She lived in Pittsford.
He then proceeded to hit 17 cars before stopping. I don’t remember anything after that I went into shock. (That must have been scary for you and dad) I always hated Sunday’s everything seemed to happen on Sunday’s and she proceeds to name all the bad things that happened on Sunday’s including the time that my father lost his index finger when it got caught under the blade of the lawn mower.
(I can imagine why you wouldn’t be a fan of Sundays. I gotta go, Mom. I have to go see one of my mental health clients.)