Brookhaven, GA, September 29, 2016 – In Your Words: A Thank You Letter from Shiney Eapen – My husband left for Asheville for a wedding Friday morning so I made plans to keep myself and my boys busy all weekend. After I picked up both my boys from school Friday afternoon, I was driving to Brookhaven to a friend’s house for a playdate and dinner at her home. I turned onto Clairmont Rd. off of Peachtree Boulevard and was going through the green light at the intersection of Clairmont and New Peachtree Rd.
A truck on opposite side of Clairmont did not yield to make a left. He turned left and crashed right into me causing me to lose control of my van go down the hill and into a ravine. I was nestled between a wooden fence and an electric pole. All of the airbags on my driver’s side and son’s airbags deployed. My 5-year-old son was in a car seat behind me and my 7-year-old son was on the other side also in a car seat. The doors were jammed and fumes coming from the airbags smelled so bad. I remember that smell and my kids and I screaming.
I was able to open the passenger side window and I removed both my boys from their car seats and pulled them and myself out the window. Immediately after I got out two women came to my aid. A pregnant young woman I did not get her name and her friend Michelle Jackson. Michelle and friend both tried to calm us down and stayed with us. They had witnessed the whole incident.
A black car pulled up and called my name. I looked up to see it was my son’s former Elementary School Principal Dr. LaShawn McMillan. She immediately took both my boys and put them in her car to calm them down and get them out of the sun. Three Chamblee Police Officer – Officers D. Cavin, A. Hildalgo, and J. Wuusdorp – cars were there right away also.
The ambulance wanted to take me to the Emergency Room (ER), but because my boys weren’t allowed to ride with me, I refused. Dr. McMillan took me to the ER to get checked out and stayed and took care of my boys. Dr. McMillan reached out to my son’s kindergarten teacher, Ms. Fleming, and she came to the hospital to be with me. And another parent friend of mine from Brookhaven, Emily Tindel, came to help with my boys while I was in the ER. Giny Jacob a childhood friend was also called to come be with me.
I am so thankful to all of the people who drove by and stopped to come to my aid. A special thank you to my son’s former elementary school principal Dr. McMillan – you saw me and immediately stopped to help me and my boys. You stayed with my boys the whole time. You took me to the hospital, you calmed my boys down and stayed with them while the doctors tended to me. You were my angel.
We moved this summer so we no longer attend Ashford Park Elementary School, but we were never forgotten. Dr. McMillan has a heart of gold and I am so grateful for her. My husband was out-of-town and was not able to get back to us until much later that night, but I did not feel alone. The Ashford Park community was with me, led by Dr McMillan.
Also, to those two women – Michelle Jackson and the pregnant friend who did not know me but who were there for me as soon as my boys and I got out of that car – Thank you, thank you, thank you for being there for me, for your encouraging words, for telling me that everything is going to be okay and staying with me the entire time.
My left side hurts a lot but my boys and I walked away from this alive and so thankful to all the angels that came to rescue us.
I am forever grateful.
Shiney Eapen (Mother to Gavin (7) and Dylan(5))
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