EAST VINCENT — Travis Hadfield took advantage last week of the unusually sunny early-March weather to hang out with some friends in St. Peters Village.
“I had church that day and after, some friends called and said we should go out, so we went over to St. Peters,” the 20-year-old said Monday. “We were laying around on the rocks.”
At one point, Hadfield, who is from the Spring-Ford area, took a bet to run a circuit around the old quarry site shirtless, which won praise from his companions.
“I felt on top of the world,” Hadfield said.
Several hours later, Hadfield was on a stretcher aboard a medical helicopter bound for Paoli Hospital with a fractured skull and burns to his arm.
Hadfield was in the front passenger’s side seat in the Toyota Echo that rolled sideways and struck a utility pole after allegedly avoiding another car that pulled out in front of it on Route 23 March 10.
“I remember the guy,” Hadfield said. “We were a good quarter mile away from (him), he inches up, then he just pulled out in front of us.”
“When we first saw him, we were going, ‘What a jerk, look at him,’” Hadfield said.
He doesn’t remember much about the actual crash after the other driver allegedly pulled into their path.
“I just remember (Annie, the driver’s) hand swerving so fast,” Hadfield said. “I threw my arm over to her and the person behind her grabbed her shoulders. Then I remember waking up in the hospital.”
Hadfield was ejected from the vehicle. He doesn’t know where he could have come out of the car and said emergency crews at the scene weren’t sure either.
First treated in a Trappe Fire Company ambulance, Hadfield was transferred to a waiting medical helicopter, which landed in an open field next to East Vincent Elementary School.
As badly as he was injured, Hadfield’s recovery has been considered a near-miracle.
“The doctors say they’ve never seen anything like this,” Hadfield said. “They can’t believe I’m out already.”
Only a handful of days following the crash, Hadfield checked out of the hospital.
Just eight days since his skull was broken, he said he’s already stopped taking painkillers. Although doctors said he could take physical therapy, Hadfield said he likely won’t need it.
He said the only other person hospitalized in the incident had minor injuries.
East Vincent Police are still investigating the crash and didn’t have any official updates about it Monday.
A broken Budweiser 40-ounce bottle was at the scene of the crash, but Hadfield said it didn’t factor in at all.
The bottle wasn’t even full at the time and had been consumed by a 22-year-old passenger, according to Hadfield.
“He was the only one drinking that,” he said.
Because of his injuries, Hadfield has had to take some time off from his job at Men’s Wearhouse. Describing himself as a religious person, Hadfield said he’s taken some time to reflect on the crash.
Hadfield said he’d heard the person who allegedly pulled in front of their car was suicidal leading up to the crash.
“Out of all the thinking and praying I’ve done, I’m just curious about the guy,” Hadfield said.
In a way, Hadfield said he wonders if the crash was part of a bigger plan.
“My name (Travis) literally does mean ‘At the Crossroads,’” Hadfield said. “I feel like I needed to help this guy. I hope he’s OK.”
This story was originally published on The Mercury’s website, www.pottsmerc.com.