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To all of our Rally Friends from Mary Utecht:

As some of you may know, Mark was involved in the serious accident yesterday
on 35-W and Hwy 10. Some of you may have driven by or perhaps seen the car
on the news (it was the blue one under the semi). Mark is ok but with the
condition in his back, he is very stiff and somewhat bruised today. That
being said, I would like all of us to take a moment for the two people who
died and to think of all the people that are in our lives that are close to
us.

I want us all the make the effort, especially with the elderly in our lives,
to make sure that everyone, everytime is wearing their seat belts. The two
people who died were not. Mark was, and I believe that this is the reason
that he was not more severely injured. Cars can be replaced, people cannot.

I will let Mark fill you in on the details and post the pictures when he
gets up.

Thanks,

Mary Utecht
 

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Loose nut behind the wheel
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Mark's very sucky adventure

First off, to everyone that has posted notes or called to see how I am doing, thank you very much. This was the most violent thing I have ever experienced and as it was happening, I was wondering if I was going to live through it. That ought to mean a lot coming from an "experienced" rally driver. Thanks to proper seating position, seat belt use and air bags, I am here typing this note.

Here are the details, I was driving south on I-35W just south of 95th in Blaine, a suburb of Minneapolis, MN. It was snowing and very quickly, it began to snow very heavily. I started to slow down. About 15 seconds after the snow got very heavy, I saw brake lights through the snow. I pressed a little harder on the brakes and all four locked up. I was now on the wet polished ice from the drivers that came before me. The left shoulder and median was full of cars as was the right lane, all of them stopped. I had nowhere to go other than straight and try to bleed off as much speed as possible.

There was a white Dodge Dually pick-up in front of me and he hit the person in front of him causing him to stop very suddenly. I hit the truck and he went left into the median as I went to the right. I then hit the back tires of a semi tractor, under the trailer. I was finally stopped. I knew I was partially blocking the only open traffic lane and others would be coming. I know it's risky but I wasn't in full mental capacity and my reaction was to get out of the car. I released the seat belt and opened the door and WHAM, someone hit me in the passenger rear corner and spun me around and out from under the semi. Now I was facing traffic and saw the next accident happen in front of me this blocking the road so I scrambled out and headed for the median behind a bridge trestle. There I laid down in the snow and another involved motorist brought me a piece of carpet padding as a blanket.

Some time later, the first ambulance showed up. The EMT's asked me if I could walk and if so, I could go sit in the back of the rig. I was really in pain but by then I had heard that one woman had no pulse and I knew there were others hurt worse than I. I waited in the back of the rig until the EMT's bought another motorist back on the stretcher. She also had neck pain. After about 1 hour at the scene, we left for Unity Hospital. Once there, I was x-rayed and scanned and at about 7:00 pm, was allowed to go home.

I have no fractures but more bruises and pulled muscles then I have had in my entire life. I am very happy to be here and will enjoy all of your company a little bit more next time I see you.

There will be photos of the car posted at -pics below- some time tonight (thanks to Jim Konkler and Jason and Hilary Metzgar).

Please wear your seat belts,
Mark Utecht

http://www.mayhemracing.com/crash/crash1.jpg
http://www.mayhemracing.com/crash/crash2.jpg
http://www.mayhemracing.com/crash/crash3.jpg
 

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RE: Mark's very sucky adventure

Pete Morris (building "Son of CoROLLa.)Glad to hear that you are OK. Get well soon, Pete.
 

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RE: Mark's very sucky adventure

I Actually saw Dateline NBC show a crash test of an Imprezza and it got extremely high marks for crash protection, the highest rating by the NHSTA
Glad to hear you are OK
Morgan
 

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RE: Mark's very sucky adventure

Being post-winter here in lower Michigan, yet it still only took me a few seconds to visualize how things must have been there in MN on Monday when a sudden white-out occured. Thanks to Mary and Jason and everyone else for taking care of my "little brother". - I wish I was there to help out. My prayers are of thanks that you are safe and (mostly) sound. I consider myself very fortunate to have you as a friend- and want to keep it that way.
It was good to have Mark tell me about the experience- in that I have always wondered about the airbags- like Mark, I am a faithful saetbelt wearer, but my Subaru is my first car w/bags....and having been told many horror stories about the "the bag". I now feel much better about them.
Take Care and heal up Mon-Ami
- jeffy
 

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RE: Mark's very sucky adventure

Mark...
glad to hear you are ok.
sounds very, very horrific...

if you dont mind, and i'm sure you wont....
i'm going to cross post this to the I-club
as an example of what seat belts ARE SUPPOSED TO DO!!

you are very fortunate, but i think you know that already!

best wishes for a speedy recovery to 100%....
Jamie
www.subiegalracing.com
www.subiegal.com
 

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Glad to hear you are alright Mark. Hate to see anyone injured in
trafic accidents. Hope to see you around at events again
soon.

It does amaze me in this day and age that
people still don't belt up though...

Ed
 
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