Walland man still shows car that fell on him
By Kelvin Ray Boyd | Daily Times Correspondent
Stanley Sumner is “the one that got away.”
It was February 2007 when a 1968 Camaro landed on the Walland man and almost took his life. He spent over two weeks in the hospital, suffering multiple injuries and some memory loss.
Despite the mental and physical damage, doctors said he was a lucky man. “I didn’t think he would make it,” Stanley Sumner’s wife, Vicki Sumner, said. “He had some brain damage, but he is doing fine now. All of the doctors told us it was a miracle.”
The Sumners had just pulled out the transmission of Vicki Sumner’s 1968 Camaro when the life-threatening accident occurred. “I was under the car and my husband (was in front of it),” Vicki Sumner said. “The car rolled forward on the ramps, the tires hit the ground, and he was underneath the vehicle and pinned down.”
Vicki Sumner tried to free her husband by herself but was unable to do it. She got her brother, Billy Adams, who lived nearby. Adams brought a friend with him, and the group was able to free Stanley. Adams and his sister performed CPR on Stanley until the ambulance arrived.
Stanley Sumner’s injuries were substantial. He broke four ribs, which had punctured his lungs. His collarbone had been broken, and he suffered a concussion that caused him to lose three months of his memory.
“It was amazing that he only spent around three weeks in the hospital,” Vicki Sumner said. “It still wasn’t easy for him. It took six months for him to get around on his own, and he was out for work for around (18 months).”
Occasionally it is apparent that Stanley Sumner lost three months of his life due to memory loss. “One time he picked up tools and asked me where they came from,” Vicki Sumner said. “I told him he got the tools as a Christmas present. He really didn’t remember.”
The (car) show must go on
The Sumners are car enthusiasts; the accident has not changed that. The Camaro is Vicki Sumner’s car, while her husband owns a 1969 Chevelle. The couple goes to car shows whenever they can, displaying both vehicles.
“We were going to between 6-10 shows a year,” Vicki Sumner said. “The economy has been bad and we have slowed down. We have been to one show this year.”
Stanley Sumner still works on cars. “The accident didn’t faze me,” he said. “I look at it as just one of those things that just happened. I do what I have always done — work on the cars. I just do it more safely.”
Vicki Sumner does get worried. “He will crawl under the car, and I will get terrified,” she said. “He does not worry about it. He tells people ‘this is the car that almost killed me.’”