PARIS, Ill. (WCIA) — A Paris couple is asking drivers to be more aware of their surroundings after they were involved in a crash that they said could have been deadly.
Chris and Charla Messenger said they were riding their motorcycles to Terra Haute, Indiana for some shopping and lunch last month, but barely made it a mile from their home. A driver pulled out in front of the Messengers on Route 1, giving them no time to stop. Their motorcycles crashed into the car, sending them both to the hospital.
It was all recorded on a truck’s dashboard camera, the footage of which some people may find disturbing.
Now they are hoping the video will serve as a reminder of why car and truck drivers need to share the road.
“They actually call me ‘Puzzle Doe’ because they had to piece me back together,” Charla said.
After spending three weeks in the hospital, the Messengers are still recovering from the devastating crash.
“I broke my mandible and my jaw, I fractured my spine and my neck, I broke all my ribs and my arm, traumatic brain injury and my leg, they said, I filleted it open,” Charla added.
Charla had the most injuries since her motorcycle was the first to crash. But her husband Chris was also seriously hurt.
“I had a shattered wrist, I broke my hand on the other side, I broke some ribs and my nose,” Chris said.
Chris was released from the hospital the same day as the crash. He was terrified that his wife wouldn’t survive.
“It was terrible,” he said. “I wanted updates until I found out she was in stable condition.
But neither Charla nor Chris are mad at the driver whose car they crashed into.
“I don’t hold any grudges towards him,” Chris said. “I would actually like to talk to him and see how he’s doing.”
“I’m sure he’s going through something at least mentally,” Charla said. “I hit his door, he could have been hurt physically. Scary sight for him and knowing that he caused that, it’s got to be a lot.”
Despite the long road to recovery, the Messengers said they are not afraid to get back on their motorcycles.
“I’m mad he hasn’t built my bike back yet,” Charla joked. “I wanted a bike when I got home.”
They’re also hoping for change, whether it be more signs or lights where the accident happened and reminding drivers to share the road.
“Look twice, save a life,” Charla said. “Motorcycles are everywhere.”
The Messengers said they were upset when the dashboard video went to social media before they could even tell their family. It was posted the same day as the accident and their kids found out about it on Facebook.
If another accident is caught on camera, they simply want people with the footage to make sure family members are notified before posting it to social media.