Stoppable (Go to the bottom link for the video)

11 Dec

The movie ‘Unstoppable’, which was based on true events, shows how much damage one train can do. The weight of the actual freight on the train is 3,100 tons, this is not including the weight of the actual train; they can also move up to about 49 miles per hour, legally (RITA). So, like in the movie, a train would destroy almost anything that is in its path. That is why the majority of the people that are in a train related accident do not usually live. According to one survey there is approximately 12.5 people hit by a train every day, so every two hours there is someone in the United States that is in a train related accident (Injury Lawyers and Lawsuits information).

Clay Cannon looked like the average teenager; he was tall, skinny, and shaggy hair. He was an above average student in high school; top of the class, Governor Scholar, he had the highest ACT score in our senior class of over 300 students. The majority of time he was seen around school, he would be playing with one of his Rubik’s Cubes. He also ran cross country and track for the majority of high school. We had been friends ever since we went to elementary school together. I would have never expected what was about to happen to him.

One day I looked on Facebook and saw that there were a lot of posts’ that said, “Pray for Clay”, ‘Remember Clay’s family”, and other similar ones like that, I had no idea what was going on, I hadn’t heard anything about it, I was getting kind of worried. I messaged one of my friends and asked him what was going on. My friend told me that Clay had been hit by a train; he was one of the few that actually lived an accident like this. I was shocked to hear this, I assumed that he would have been seriously injured, but I was relieved to hear he was okay.

He said he didn’t remember this, but one of the viewers of the accident told him that he got out of the car and walked a little bit and fell over (Clay). It is hard to believe that a person cannot see or hear the train coming; a train can be heard from a few miles away, and if the lights are not easy to see, the train itself is hard to miss. But he said for some reason the lights did not come on, and this railroad crossing did not have the warning guards, he was also listening to some Hendrix really loud so he did not even hear it coming (Clay). He wasn’t even aware of what happened until about an hour later.

When he was getting examined by the doctor, they first thought he just got a few scratches and bruises at first, they later found out that he had bleeding kidney’s and spleen as well. The doctor told him, “It appears that everything is fine, but in the morning it is going to feel like, well, you were hit by a train.” (Clay).  A bleeding kidney and spleen doesn’t sound very pleasant, but it is a miracle that he even lived. What was even more surprising was the accident happened on a Wednesday, and he was back to school that Friday. Most people in a regular car accident take a longer break than what he did; and he got hit by a few hundred ton moving object. Either he is really tough, or he is really lucky. He soon became somewhat of a legend; everyone in the school had heard about the accident by the end of that day. Everyone was amazed by the fact that he actually lived.

After school he was supposed to pick up his brother from baseball practice, but his brother’s practice was going to last longer than what it was supposed to, so Clay went on home. The train hit his passenger side of his car, which is the only reason that Clay lived; it didn’t hurt him as bad as it would have hit the driver’s side. A few days later they put pictures of his cars on the local radio stations website; imagine a crumpled up coke can, this is what Clay’s car looked like in the passenger side after the accident. So, if Clay’s brother had been in the car with him, he probably would not have been as lucky.

An actual picture of the passenger side of Clay's car after the wreck

No one knows when there last day is going to come. There are a thousand ways that we could die every day; someone could die from eating something they are allergic too, or in this circumstance, getting hit by a train. When someone sees Clay Cannon, now walking around the campus of UK, they would not know that he is very lucky that he is there today. That train could have easily killed him, those other 11.5 that day were probably not as lucky as what he was. Nobody knows when they are going to die, so we need to be thankful for every day that we have. Luckily, the last thing that Clay saw was not that, long dark, train.

    Works Cited

Cannon, Clay. Personal Interview, 5 October 2011.

“Railroad Accident Injuries & train accidents- Total Injury” Injury Lawyers and Lawsuit                          Information. Web. 05 October 2011. <                  accident/default.aspx>.

“BTS | The Nation’s Freight.” RITA | Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). Web. 12 Oct.        2011. (Copy and paste this link into search bar and listen to this video while reading)


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