Sophomores survive car accident at Manchester Smoothie King

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Emergency responders examine the scene of the crash. The front window of the store was shattered and the location closed for repairs until Jan. 18.

By Emily Dickson, Parkway West High School

New Year’s resolutions of health and healing may be popular, but for sophomores Andrew Eickmann and Kyle Crews, they have become particularly applicable due to an accident in the last days of 2015.

On the afternoon of Dec. 29, Eickmann and Crews were paying for smoothies at Smoothie King on Manchester when a car barreled through the front window of the store and hit them, pinning Eickmann against the counter, throwing Crews over the hood and injuring another employee.

“It was about 4:30 p.m. and I was just paying because we were a dollar short of my gift card,” Eickmann said. “We weren’t looking at the window and then it just came through and hit us.”

The sudden crash was an accident, according to West County Fire and EMS, as the driver suffered a seizure that caused him to lose control of the vehicle. The driver was not hurt, although the students suffered a few injuries.
“The accident happened super fast,” Eickmann said. “I was in shock so I thought I was okay. When they started moving me I saw my leg and started blacking out.”

While Eickmann was hospitalized right after the accident for five hours with leg contusions and shock trauma, Crews suffered more serious contusions and a rib fracture, yet still did not know until he woke up the next day.
“I woke up the next day and couldn’t walk,” Crews said.

My friends said ‘only you would get hit by a car’”

— Eickmann

Both students are currently recovering, with Crews still on crutches and both with a boot on one leg. Although Crews is not currently playing a sport, Eickmann is out of basketball, but hopes to get back by the end of the season.
“I’m recovering actually faster than they thought, so I might be able to come back, but I have nerve damage so I have to do physical therapy,” Eickmann said. “Missing basketball was the most disappointing part of the crash.”

Eickmann’s basketball coach, English teacher Casey Holland says he is still being a great sport while out of the game.
“He is a good basketball player and just a gym rat,” Holland said. “Even though he’s injured, he’s coming to all the games, coming to all the practices and really interested in continuing to learn and grow as a basketball. I’ve had [players] with minor knee and ankle injuries but never anything like this.”

The prospects for Crews are not as hopeful, as he predicts missing baseball season in the spring because of his injuries. While a fracture requires resetting of the broken bone in some cases, a contusion is just a bruise to the bone, but recovery time can still be substantial.

“My friends said ‘only you would get hit by a car’, but I feel kinda lucky because at first they thought I had a compound fracture,” Eickmann said.

Despite this unforeseen first obstacle in 2016, Crews is enjoying all of the “attention” from the media as the accident was mentioned in STL Today and other news sites, although the boys’ names were not released.
“It feels good to be famous,” Crews said.