Anthony Arminio I and his son Anthony Arminio II discovered the dangers of texting and driving first hand when a distracted driver caused an accident that changed the course of their lives.
On November 12, 2011, William Van Camp, Jr. was texting while driving his 2007 Volkswagen Jetta. A car had momentarily stopped in the left lane, with the turn signal on to make a left hand turn. Because Van Camp, Jr. was distracted, he didn’t see that this car had stopped and hit the vehicle going full speed. The Jetta was propelled into the air and landed on top of the Arminios’ 1983 Chevy Truck C3 Series coming from the opposite direction.
The Jetta crushed the Chevy, trapping the two men inside. Anthony Arminio II was driving. His legs, trapped by metal, jammed his foot into the accelerator, making the car speed up until it ran into a hill.
Tracy Collie, a witness at the scene, reported what she saw to Anthony Arminio II in an email, “I was shocked when I saw the small space you were occupying. It was hard to even tell you were in there. I stayed while they removed the top of the truck and removed your father. I expected you to lose consciousness. It’s a miracle that you lived.”
Anthony Arminio I had been trapped in the passenger seat, unable to reach his suffering son, whose entire lower body had been crushed by metal on all sides.
Both Arminio men were taken to the hospital after a painstaking and slow extraction from the truck. There, Arminio II required emergency surgery to restore blood flow to his broken hip. But his injuries didn’t stop there. When the final diagnosis came in, Arminio II was diagnosed with an orbital fracture, right fibula fracture, left tibia fracture, left hip fracture, multiple pelvic fractures, disruption of the pelvic ring, and left tibial plateau fracture.
Arminio I experienced many physical and psychological complications as a result of the accident. Arminio I was diagnosed with a fracture to the C-2 vertebra in his spine, which required surgery to repair. He also suffered a fracture of the nasal bone, scalp lacerations, fluid in his lungs, daily headaches, flashes in his eyes, pain in his right shoulder and neck, numbness in two fingers of both hands, hip and chest pain, left leg numbness, and itching and burning in his left thigh.
After all of the treatments, the Arminios had incurred hospital and treatment expenses running more than $400,000.
Anthony Arminio I was self employed at the time of the accident. He has been unable to work to the extent that he was able before the accident. Anthony Arminio II owned his own business, SealMax, since 2001. This company performs sealing, coating and patching of driveways. He has tried to return to work but is extremely limited due to his disabilities as a result of the accident.
Anthony Arminio II reported how the event has affected him:
“The pain following my surgery was the worst I have ever experienced. I was sent home not able to walk, stand, shower or take care of myself in any way. My wife and a homecare worker from Abington Memorial Hospital took care of me for approximately ten weeks. I then developed a surgical site infection which required me to again be hospitalized for another 15 days and required two additional surgeries. I was required to use additional medical equipment including a wound vac and a PICC line that I would use to infuse myself with IV antibiotics three times a day over the next 12 weeks. My wife and children watched me suffer and slowly recover for about nine months. During this time I was more like a child than a parent or spouse. There are no words to describe what my family and I have been through and what I will continue to have to deal with for the remainder of my life. I will be partially disabled for the rest of my life.
I just ask that William be made to understand the significance of the damage he caused. He almost took me away from my family. I ask that he do everything possible to make right everything he has done to my family, myself and all other innocent bystanders that were involved.”