Waiting to die: A tale of modern American justice

This is a love story about a quadriplegic woman named Sarah and a heroin addict named Rick.

Rick and Sarah

It begins on a sunny afternoon in 1968 as a Ford Mustang GT Fastback headed to Muir Woods in California slips across the yellow line and into oncoming traffic.

There is a very brief pause. And then it happens.

It’s possible that the sun – listing over the Pacific and bending the day’s light – might have blinded the driver’s view of the oncoming car.

But we’ll never know for sure because memories spilled like blood and the Mustang was too mangled to provide clues.

Sarah Ward was in the passenger seat.

An 18-year-old freshman at Harvey Mudd College, all she remembers from the incident is that seven days later she awoke in a hospital bed unable to move her arms or feet.

“The driver broke both his legs,” she said. “The only bone I broke was in my neck.”

Time had stopped. Life had happened.

At first, she said, “there’s always hope that your nerves will reconnect.”

But hers never did. And instead, Sarah built a new life.

She got a degree in software engineering followed by a job at IBM. And, slowly, she settled into a stable new routine.

That is, of course, until she met Rick … More

(Note: Clicking this link will take you to my blog on HuffingtonPost.com, where the rest of this story is stored. ~ Luke)

Posted on by Luke Whyte |

2 Responses to Waiting to die: A tale of modern American justice

  1. Susan Steffens says:

    I sure see you’re getting a lot of comments on the Huffington website. That is neat. Thank you so much for writing the article.

  2. Kelsey says:

    Luke,
    I picked you up in Trinidad, CA when you hitchhiking to Crescent City. That was way way back but today was the first time I’ve looked at your site. This piece was at the top. It hit me close to home because my brother recently became a quadriplegic. After I came home from the hospital today I went into an angry cleaning fit and found your card. I feel like you already know this but you are a great writer and this project of yours is truly stellar.

    Keep on truckin
    -kp

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