Softball: Queen of Peace’s Erin Jones makes remarkable recovery after car accident
By Tony Baranek firstname.lastname@example.org March 24, 2014 8:56PM
Erin Jones, of Queen of Peace | Tony Baranek/Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 26, 2014 6:27AM
Erin Jones doesn’t cry easily.
She didn’t after the horrible impact.
She didn’t after looking at her left arm and realizing she couldn’t move it.
She didn’t amid the sirens and the flashing lights of ambulances and police cars.
The Queen of Peace junior didn’t get emotional until a doctor told her the price she would have to pay after suffering a broken left arm in a terrible car accident:
She likely would have to miss the 2014 softball season.
That made her cry.
“It also kind of made me determined, though,” Jones said. “I was like, ‘I don’t think so. I’ll be fine.’ ”
Jones smiled as she revealed the 5-inch surgical scar on her left biceps. The season won’t be starting without her at either first or third base.
“I get released (March 19),” she excitedly said the previous day. “It all feels fine. One arm is a little slower than the other, but with all the coaching I’ve had I should be able to hit rockets.”
Jones, a Chicago resident, was a passenger in a car with four other occupants a couple of evenings before the new year when the driver of the car attempted to make a pass on the right. The car was traveling approximately 40 mph on a street near Midway Airport, Jones said, when the driver realized there was a parked car in front of him. The car hit an ice patch and kept sliding.
“The impact was pretty hard,” Jones said. “Then it was just silence. We were all just stunned, kind of shocked.”
Jones was thrust forward, but her left arm stayed behind.
“I wasn’t bleeding, but my arm was just laying on the seat,” she said. “At first I thought it was just asleep or I had twisted it weird. But when I got out of the car I couldn’t move it.”
A bone in her left arm had snapped. Jones was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where her arm was put in a sling to be stabilized before surgery on New Year’s Day at Mercy Hospital.
After surgery, she took two weeks off, then began running. Queen of Peace coach Erin Sullivan said she was shocked when on the first day of conditioning one of the most eager girls to show up was Jones.
“She had this huge scar on her arm, and it was in a sling,” Sullivan said. “She showed up like she was going to work out.
“She did everything she could do with her right arm. She did every ab exercise we asked for. She lifted with her legs only and she ran when she could. She came every single day. I admire her. I couldn’t ask for a more dedicated player.”
Jones said her father, Bob, helped and encouraged her during the healing and conditioning process. Sullivan said Jones will start at either first or third. In 2013, Jones made just seven errors in 20 games.
The accident brought its own lesson.
“When it first happened I kind of just thought it was an accident, it was, whatever,” Jones said. “But when the police were talking to us, and saying like, ‘Two more inches and it could have been fatal,’ then it kind of made me think. It makes me a little more cautious as a driver myself.”