I lost 75% of the cowhide out of my burning car

When looking at pictures of the wreckage of the car, Kylie Benson still can’t believe she got out of it alive.

The 16-year-old was driving to see her grandmother when she collided with a speeding truck that pulled her vehicle down the road, eventually causing it to explode into a fireball.

Kylie Benson, picture before the accident at the age of 16

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Kylie Benson, picture before the accident at the age of 16Credit: STORY OF SUN
Kylie crawls out of the wreckage after her car was crushed by a truck and caught fire

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Kylie crawls out of the wreckage after her car was crushed by a truck and caught fireCredit: STORY OF SUN

As the seat belt melted across her body, Kylie’s survival instincts flared and she crawled out of the smashed driver’s window, before rolling onto the grass to put out the flames licking her body.

It’s been a long road to recovery, with the teenager needing 19 operations to help her recover from 75% of third-degree burns. She also lost most of her right hand and had to relearn how to walk, talk, eat and write.

Kylie, 18, from Paris, Texas, hopes to become a burn consultant and is sharing her inspirational story to help other survivors like her.

It was a cold, wet, foggy October day in 2019 when Kylie got in her car for the 30-mile trip from her home in Valliant, Oklahoma to her grandmother Jan Beene’s home in Spencerville.

Kylie doesn’t worry about road conditions, having driven there many times.

Kylie said: “I was homeschooled at the time and I was looking forward to seeing my lovely grandmother.

“Besides being a full-time student, I am also a photographer and I plan to show her some of my photos.”

Kylie was having a good time until she drove up the hill – at which point her life changed forever.

Kylie in the hospital after the accident

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Kylie in the hospital after the accidentCredit: STORY OF SUN
Kylie (pictured now 18) is sharing her story in the hopes it will inspire other burn victims

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Kylie (pictured now 18) is sharing her story in the hopes it will inspire other burn victimsCredit: STORY OF SUN

Due to the fog, Kylie didn’t see the four-way stop sign until late at night, at which point she slammed on the brakes. As she did, a large truck sped towards her moving at 85mph.

The driver didn’t see Kylie and drove past her, shoving her car under its center.

Kylie recalls: “I was screaming, ‘I don’t want to die like this!’ The truck stopped and overturned to the left, causing my car to shoot from under the truck to the other side of the road and burst into flames.

“It was kind of weird because I was pretty calm sitting there with my seat belt melting all over my body. I think it must have been a shock.

“I tried to unbuckle my seat belt and it gave way, so I crawled out of the driver’s window that was smashed because the door was crushed, and I walked away in the fire.

“It sounds crazy, but I’m not even sure I was aware I was on fire.”

It sounds crazy, but I’m not even sure I was aware I was on fire

Kylie Benson

Seconds after she stepped out of her burned, battered car, a woman pulled over to the side of the road.

Terrified to see Kylie on fire, she told her to roll on the grass to put out the fire.

As she did, Kylie lost consciousness, and when she awoke, she was surrounded by firefighters and paramedics.

She recalls: “I heard a firefighter say, ‘It’s going to explode,’ and a split second later my car exploded – I could feel the vibrations from the explosion through the ground. and in the air.

“I was lucky not to be in it, because I could have died. To this day I still don’t know how I got out of that burning car. My guardian angel was working overtime that day! ”

20% chance of survival

Kylie was given a 20% chance of survival by doctors

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Kylie was given a 20% chance of survival by doctorsCredit: STORY OF SUN
Kylie has undergone 19 grueling surgeries in her recovery

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Kylie has undergone 19 grueling surgeries in her recoveryCredit: STORY OF SUN

Kylie was taken to the burn hospital for specialist treatment.

She was in such a state, barely alive when the doctors peeled off what was left of her clothes.

Her mother Alesha walks into the room crying and Kylie asks if she has to “go see Trista” – her best friend, who sadly took her own life four months earlier.

Kylie said: ‘Mom didn’t say anything, but I know it’s serious.

“The doctors told my family if I made it through that night I had a 20 per cent chance of survival. The odds were definitely not in my favor.

Every rib in my body was broken, my lung collapsed and my spine was broken in three places…that’s induction and will I survive

Kylie Benson

“I was in a coma for two weeks to help my body start to recover.

“Every rib in my body was broken, my lung collapsed and my spine was broken in three places.

“I had third degree burns over 75% of my body from forehead to knee.

“It was touching and it took days to see if I survived but every day somehow I got a little better than the day before.”

When Kylie woke up, bandaged from head to toe, her stepfather John, her best friend and supporter, was sitting beside her.

She recalls: “All I said was ‘Dad please don’t leave me again,’ and he smiled in relief.”

Lost finger

Since then, Kylie says life is “absolute hell”.

Every two days, she was taken to a room called The Tank, where her bandages were removed and her skin scrubbed.

She said: “I was still in excruciating pain even though they gave me painkillers. I could just lie there and take it as pure torture.

“My doctors started doing more skin grafts. On the night of the accident, they took skin from my knee and left side to start the slow-down process. I have never felt pain like it and pray I never will.”

Kylie was released from the hospital after three months – but a week before that, doctors were forced to amputate the fingers on her right hand from the knuckles down because they became infected.

I just had to lie there and suffer it, it was pure torture… I’ve never felt pain like that.

Kylie Benson

It was another cruel blow to the brave teenager, but she was determined to recover.

After returning home, the child must learn to walk, write and eat again.

“It was like being reborn,” Kylie recalls. “Throughout it all, however, I have always kept the faith that this all happens for a reason and that it gives me a sense of peace, even on the really tough days when I’m down. or painful.

“One of the hardest things was dealing with my scars. For a long time, I refused to look at myself in the mirror.

“I felt ugly, like no one wanted me. But gradually, after 19 surgeries, I also found peace with that.

“I have accepted that I am a different person now and that person is the person I want to be. I think my best friend Trista was my guardian angel that day and she saved me to help others.”

After 19 surgeries, Kylie is attending the University of Phoenix and she hopes to eventually become a burn counselor because she knows right away she can make a big difference.

“People always ask me how I can love my life the way I still do after everything I’ve been through.

“I told them I thought of all the people who were worse off than me and they inspired me to get up every day.

“What a miracle I’m alive! I’m incredibly lucky and I hope my story inspires others to fight for the life they want.”

Kylie has to relearn how to walk, talk and eat

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Kylie has to relearn how to walk, talk and eatCredit: STORY OF SUN
Kylie aspires to be a burn counselor

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Kylie aspires to be a burn counselorCredit: STORY OF SUN
Brave Kylie knows she can make a difference

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Brave Kylie knows she can make a differenceCredit: STORY OF SUN
I Escaped the Hell Bronx Fire That Killed 17 People – I saw kids jumping out windows and people screaming ‘I’m on fire’

https://www.thesun.ie/news/8259003/kylie-benson-burns-car-crash-lorry/ I lost 75% of the cowhide out of my burning car

Fry Electronics Team

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