Today on the Oppositetalk Facebook group, someone shared a post by Kyle Prescott, a guy who had just been crushed and nearly killed by a car after it fell off its jack. I just talked with Kyle over Facebook; his story is truly terrifying. Warning: pictures of a very injured man lie ahead.
On our wrenching sub-site, The Garage, I always talk about how important it is to use floor jacks and jack stands when working on a car. Kyle Prescott, from Michigan, knows all this, as he’s a mechanic at a semi-truck repair shop. Despite that, earlier this week, he got very unlucky and maybe a bit careless.
I asked Kyle what he could tell me about the day of the accident, and whose car he was working on. Kyle responded, saying he was looking at his friend’s 2005 Chrysler Sebring’s passenger’s side brake line, which had rusted through and sprung a leak (as is normal in Michigan). Kyle was down under the car trying to see what size line he’d have to splice in, and which tools he’d need to get the job done.
He said he had jacked the passenger’s side tire off the ground with a scissor jack, and was looking to “find a good jack stand point.” That’s when shit hit the fan. The car shifted a bit, and then, Kyle says:
...I started to crawl out I had hit the jack by accident and the car had come crashing down. Thankfully I had a buddy there to pick the car up enough to relive the pressure off my chest then a guy I work with James came and lifted it higher I had crawled out and immediately called 911.
This is how the accident left Kyle:
I asked Kyle more about his injury. He says, after four hours in the emergency room, he got 20 stitches in the head to close a six-inch cut that extends from his cheek up past his right eye— a cut that nearly blinded him.
He also has road rash on his right cheek, and his right eye is swollen. The wounded wrencher describes his gruesome ordeal and how close he may have come to death:
If I had been another 2 [inches] back the rotor of the car would have crushed my neck instead of back. I was very lucky. The tie rod, ball joint, had hit me in the head. The car had rolled back approximately 3 feet dragging my head on the ground.
Luckily, Kyle suffered no broken bones, and is going to be able to see just fine, though his right eye will probably always be a little “droopy.” Here’s a more recent picture of Kyle on his Facebook Page:
I asked Kyle why the heck he was using a scissor Jack at work, and he told me that his shop, a semi-shop, has big air jacks, and no car jacks. The shop is supposed to have two-ton car jacks, but for some reason, it doesn’t have them yet, and Kyle has to make do with “only limited resources.”
“I was simply using a scissor jack because it’s all I had. That’s the reason I was going to use jack stands,” Kyle said.
Kyle said this Sebring was his friend Gary’s car, and that the last time he worked on Gary’s car, he was swapping out an alternator on a Dodge Caravan when “some how it rolled back an broke 3 of my ribs.”
Good lord. Unsurprisingly, Kyle is done working on Gary’s shit.
The battered and bruised mechanic is going to spend the next two weeks taking it easy so he can heal and get back to wrenching.