Evanston man hit by truck, finds himself at fault
About four years ago, Andrew Kerr was crossing the street in Evanston when a city utility truck drove down the block. He didn't see it and was hit by the truck and thrown about twenty feet in the air.
Kerr recently came to the StoryCorps Booth with his friend and neighbor Emily Grayson to talk about the incident, and the lasting impact it’s had on his life.
“Do you remember the moment it happened?” Grayon asks him. “I kinda remember only the moment it happened,” Kerr says. “Just the sheer terror of realizing I was going to get hit by a moving truck in the face. And there was no getting out of the way. And the next thing I remember was waking up in the hospital.”
There, Kerr learned the severity of the accident - he had some brain injuries, his skull and arm were fractured and he had bruised some ribs. The hospital staff was supportive throughout his rehabilitation and pushed him when he needed to be pushed.
“There was this CNA who worked there,” Kerr says. “And he was the one who was like ‘You’ve been here this many days? You need to stand up today.’ And I was terrified. I remember just sobbing in fear about trying to walk. And him holding me, this stranger in a hospital, doesn’t know me, a nursing assistant helping me take my first steps after having brain injury, lying in this bed for a week or whatever it was, and pushing me like someone who cared.”
Kerr’s wife was also at his side. He had known her since he was a teenager.
The accident caused several permanent injuries in Kerr, including significant hearing loss, and the loss of his sense of smell.
Kerr owns a small construction company in Evanston and when the accident happened his wife called his clients and kept the business going. Through all of it, Kerr’s wife was at his side, taking care of their small children too.
“I best describe it as watching my own episode of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’” Kerr says. “Being alive to see how loved I am: My customers lining up to help, which to me said I mean something in your life. My mechanic came and visited me in the hospital. The guy from Home Depot brought me fresh fruit, just because he was concerned. I’m amazed at how many people came together.”