Years from now, Jessica King will tell her daughter about the Tuesday in January that was perhaps the unluckiest, and luckiest, day of their lives.
A series of unfortunate circumstances on that day led to King’s Buick Rendezvous running her over — not once, but twice — in the span of less than a minute in front of her home on Skyview Court in Lawrence.
The first time, the SUV backed over her legs. The second time, it ran over her abdomen, missing her unborn baby by inches.
‘I can still feel it’
It all started when King, on her way to a weekly Mary Kay meeting, started her car in her driveway. It was icy, so King, eight months pregnant and wearing stiletto heels, got out of her car to scrape off the windows. She left the driver’s side door open.
Then she slipped.
As she attempted to grab the top of the car for balance, she accidentally knocked the gear shifter into reverse. The car door then knocked King to the ground, and the car slowly rolled over her legs as it exited the driveway.
“If I close my eyes, I can still feel it,” said King, describing the heavy pressure of the front wheel of the SUV on her trapped body.
King was not seriously injured, and she got up and watched the car slowly circling the neighborhood, hopping curbs and running over small trees. As the car made a full circle back to King’s driveway, she thought she might be able to get in the car and put it in park.
At the time, King said she wasn’t thinking about her injuries, or her unborn child. Several of her neighbors had new cars, and she didn’t want her car to hit them, or worse, run into a neighbor’s house.
But she slipped again as she grabbed the car door. The door knocked her down once more, and the car again slowly rolled over King.
She said she had tire tracks on her maternity dress.
“That’s when I gave up. If it hits something, it hits something,” King said of ending the chase of her runaway car.
The car continued to make a second circle of the cul-de-sac, and eventually butted up against a neighbor’s car.
It was then that King says she realized how lucky she was that the car missed her stomach both times.
“I just got ran over, and I’m eight months pregnant,” King said of her thoughts as she was able to get up a second time.
King approached the car that had just moments before run her over, and drove herself to Lawrence Memorial Hospital. She was examined and later transferred to Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center in Topeka, where she spent a week recovering from the severe bruising that covered her legs and abdomen.
King used a walker for weeks after the incident, but she escaped serious injury.
In April, she gave birth to Aiydasia, who is now a healthy 3-month-old nicknamed “Daisy.”
‘I’m a big klutz’
King said that those who know her are familiar with her trademark clumsiness, but the incident was even an extreme for her.
“I’m a big klutz,” said King. “(But) it’s not a habit of mine to run over myself.”
The story was so bizarre that when she told her husband what happened, he didn’t believe her.
“Nobody believed me,” said King.
They believe her now.
“We tease her about it all the time,” said Toni Albright, King’s mother-in-law. “You’ve got to be able to laugh at this.”