Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

HOPE FUND; Head-On Wreck Changed Woman's Life Injuries from Accident Mean Constant Pain, End of Career Hopes

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

HOPE FUND; Head-On Wreck Changed Woman's Life Injuries from Accident Mean Constant Pain, End of Career Hopes

Article excerpt

Byline: Ben Vollmer

Roseann Philips used to have an impeccable memory.

But now, an auto accident that changed her life is one of the few things that she vividly remembers.

Philips, 56, recalled that autumn day in 1993 when her car was hit head-on by another driver. The other vehicle hit Philips' car and then went airborne, almost decapitating another motorist.

With a school bus behind her car, the only thing Philips could do was move a foot to the inside of her own lane to avoid an even bigger impact. But she was hit again by the other, still-careening car.

"When the fire department came up to my car, they were surprised that I was alive and awake," said Philips, who was living in Cincinnati.

She was alive, but not unscathed. She broke multiple bones in her arms and legs. Her back was lacerated. Bruises covered her body.

In addition to fully recalling what took place during the accident, Philips also clearly remembers her emotions at that moment. It was one of being upset, an emotion that has never faded.

"I'm angry, because it took everything away from me," Philips said. "It turned me into an old woman. I've had pain problems for my entire life."

A former cosmetologist, Philips can no longer practice due to her injuries. She abandoned her dream of becoming a nurse as well. The accident occurred when she was merely months away from graduating.

Since the day of the crash, multiple surgeries enabled Philips to function, but not without pain.

Today, Philips lives in a Keystone Heights mobile home. It has been her residence for 18 years. Clearly, it has seen better days.

The roof has holes in it, and a black trash bag is tacked to the kitchen's ceiling to prevent leaks from dripping inside the home. The bathroom has sprung leaks inside the wall, ruining the cabinets and vinyl floor. …

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