On Thursday August 18th, at around 3:30 p.m., Nanci Footitt, her 13 year old son Corbin, and their dog "Everett" (Ch. Nanjay's No Regrets), were driving in their van, on their way to William Alexander's house (long-time friend and show handler). They were only about 15 minutes away from home, driving down Mississauga Road, a well-paved, two-lane, "country" road in Brampton, Ontario. Traffic was very light.
Nanci looked in her rear-view mirror and saw a vehicle turn onto Mississauga Road, far behind her. The vehicle approached faster and faster and Nanci thought, "What the heck is this guy doing?" She thought it was probably a teenager, speeding down the road and that the vehicle would very likely pass her at a high rate of speed. She just presumed the car would pass her soon, as it was going so fast and there was no oncoming traffic. It came straight down the road towards her, speeding but not swerving, just aimed right for her van. Nanci was driving at about 70 to 80 km/hour (40-50 MPH). She was not looking in her rear-view mirror at the time of impact, so she did not have any warning as to what was happening.
The vehicle slammed into the back of Nanci's van and sent it flying into the oncoming lane, towards a pole and a mailbox. Nanci managed to get her van back onto her side of the road where the vehicle slammed into her a again, this time causing her van to roll over -- and over -- and over, and then slide hundreds of feet, stopping on the side of the road, teetering over the side of the ditch. The car that hit her went down through the ditch, into a field of sunflowers where it stopped.
Nanci and Corbin had been wearing seat-belts and Everett was in his dog crate, with a heavy towel pinned around him. (He had been groomed, bathed and toweled in preparation for a three day dog show.) When the van rolled over and over, the crate toppled around inside the van, as did everything else ... bags of dog food, Nanci's purse and briefcase, cooler, whatever was in the van became projectiles, as did all the shattered glass from the side windows, which had all broken into a million pieces.
The front windshield was made of safety glass. It shattered too but was still in one piece, and it had come loose in one corner. The van was laying on the driver's side so they could not get out through the doors, so Nanci started hitting and pushing on the front windshield until she managed to push it right out, cutting the palms of her hands very badly in the process. Both Nan and her son were bleeding from wounds to their hands, faces, legs, knees, etc., and they knew Everett was hurt, but they didn't know how badly. Nanci had to crawl out through the windshield and called out for help to two men she saw coming from the cars that were starting stopping to offer assistance. She was afraid the van was going to topple into the 6 foot deep ditch beside the road before she could get Corbin and Everett out safely.
The two men came to help and Corbin took the Furrari crate door off and lifted Everett out through the wind-shield, and then he had to quickly dismantle the crate in order to get it out as well, then he climbed through the front window as Nanci had. Nanci's legs were badly injured, her knee was chewed up like ground hamburger and everyone had pieces of broken glass in all their wounds and in their hair in on their clothes etc. Everett was in pain and could not walk and was bleeding from some wounds around his face and head.
They had Nanci lay down on her side, and laid Everett down beside her and Corbin sat on the other side of the dog. Everett was in a great deal of pain but he was very sweet and gentle and patient as they waited for the police and ambulance and fire trucks to arrive. Nanci asked someone to give her a cell phone and she called her long-time friend and veterinarian Dr. Nancy Tarzwell , who lives close to where the accident took place. Her clinic was close by as well.
When the firemen arrived Nanci had them take care of her son first, and then refused medical treatment for herself until her dog was taken care of. Fortunately the vet had been home when Nanci called and she came right over and personally took care of Everett. The crate probably saved Everett's life and the towel he was wearing protected his body somewhat, but it was determined that his left front shoulder is fractured or broken in about three places.
Everett was taken, by the vet, to the clinic, where he's on IV and is resting as comfortably as possible, awaiting surgery. The operation to try and repair his shoulder will be on Tuesday, by Dr. Joe Dingwall , an orthopedic specialist.
Nanci Footitt and her son spent about 6 hours in Emergency at the Headwaters Hospital, just outside of Orangeville, getting their wounds attended to, getting stitches, and x-rays etc.. Although this was a horrible, seemingly pointless accident, they are VERY lucky to be alive. I believe an Angel was watching over them that day.
Their physical injuries will heal but the emotional trauma of this accident will likely take a heavy toll on both of them. Nanci and Corbin are worried sick over Everett and are hoping and praying that his shoulder can be repaired successfully and he will be able to walk again without pain or too much of a limp.
This is the second time this year that Nanci and her son were in a freaky accident that totaled their van, and in both cases Nanci was not at fault. The man that was driving the car that hit her was 89 years old, and will likely be charged with careless driving. His car ended up farther down the road, in the field.
Please say a few prayers for Nanci and her son Corbin (who's 13th birthday was this past weekend, Sunday August 21st), and especially for Everett. He is the sweetest, funniest, most gentle Springer you'd ever want to meet, a "forever" dog at Nanjay.
(And please forgive me if I don't have every detail 100% correct. I tried to accurately recall the things Nanci told me over the phone.)
(Dillon and Nathaniel's 'Mom')
Reputation is what men and women think of us,
Character is what God and the angels know of us.
-- Thomas Paine
Friday August 26th: Nan's email @nanjay.com has been down since last weekend. She has not been able to receive any email messages this week. She is very upset by this because she knows people have been sending messages to her and she will never be able to retrieve them or even know who wrote.
I have set up a new email address for Nanci at yahoo.ca to use for now. Just click on the email button above for her new mailing address.
IF you sent an email to Nanci during the past week, would you PLEASE kindly re-send it to her new email address. Nanci is very sorry for any problems this may cause. What a terrible time for her email to be down.
Everett had his surgery on Tuesday, August 23rd and will be going home to Nanci and Corbin on Monday, August 29th. As soon as Nan is able to send an email to me I will give you an update on his condition. He is recovering nicely, but will have 6 long weeks of recuperation time.
Thanks so much,
Dillon and Nat's 'mom'