By Erica Gill, Assistant Editor –
While some college students grumble and complain about trivial matters, MCC student
Jenn Zoerman is adapting to the drastic changes in her life while maintaining a positive outlook.
About a month after finding out that her father had been diagnosed with cancer, Jenn was
involved car accident that left her with a broken leg and a totaled vehicle.
“Apparently I can catch a break!" she laughed, pointing to her leg.
The day had been typical. Zoerman had loaded her dinner and school supplies into her
red minivan and prepared to go to class.
With the radio playing softly in the background, her seatbelt in place and her phone
nowhere in sight, she showed all the signs of a responsible driver.
The next thing she knew, her car was spinning and the windshield was shattered.
“I remember the pain setting in, and screaming,” she said. “I banged on the window,
screaming. I was terrified.”
She looked in horror at her dinner and binder contents spread out on the floor, and the
empty passenger seat proved to her how alone she felt in that moment.
She had done everything that a good driver was expected to do, and all she had to show
for it were a couple of detonated air bags and shooting pain in her body.
“Just because you’re doing the right thing doesn’t mean others will do the right thing,”
Zoerman said. “Realize you’re not invincible, and this could happen to anybody. Your life could
literally change in two seconds.”
Before the incident, an 18-year old who had accidently hit and killed a bicyclist had been
staying with the Zoerman family on the weekends. After taking him under their wing, the family
was helping him to overcome the tragic accident.
“It’s ironic because he was the guy that hit and killed somebody,” Zoerman said, “and I
was the victim of somebody else’s actions.”
Zoerman reflected on the kindness she was shown by a young man who ran up to her
battered car after the accident. After calling 911, he held her hand and comforted her until the
“I never even got to thank him for being there,” Zoerman said. “He may not even know
how much he did for me in that short span of time, but it was enough.”
Zoerman has some advice to anyone who may ever be involved in an accident.
“Stay still!” she said. “I know firsthand that this is very hard, but adrenaline can do
powerful things. You could have more injuries than you think, and if you move wrong, thinking
you’re okay, you could paralyze yourself.”
Immediately after the accident, Zoerman admits she resented the man who pulled out in
front of her vehicle. She said that watching him walk into the ambulance while she couldn’t walk
at all seemed unfair.
After several days of reflection, Zoerman has come to terms with what happened and has
“I seriously forgive him,” she said. “He didn’t set out to do this. His day was just as
wrecked as mine was.”
Zoerman is getting around in a wheelchair, and is not able to drive herself for a few
weeks. Despite the setbacks, she is taking all of it in stride, and continues to have a positive
perspective on things.
“I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason,” she said. “I don’t believe I
will ever be given something I can’t handle.”
Featured Image: Jenn Zoerman’s vehicle was totaled in a recent accident, and she suffered a broken leg.