Rather than try to write a 'story' about the reaction of New York Giants punter Steve Weatherford to the car crash he was in early Monday morning returning to New Jersey for OTAs following the birth of his fourth child. here is the transcript of Weatherford's remarks to reporters Monday afternoon.
Question: When you look back at last night, has it sunk in yet?
Weatherford: The soreness is starting to sink in a little bit, but I am just feeling so blessed. Not even with the birth of my daughter, but just being here. I have always been an optimistic guy, but after the experience last night, there is no other way to explain than a blessing.
Question: Does it put everything in perspective?
Weatherford: I take pride in always taking a positive perspective, but when something like that happens you realize everyone is human. It was a big deal. I am very fortunate to be standing here. Very fortunate to be alive.
Question: Take us through your thoughts as you're driving right before the accident?
Weatherford: It was raining really hard and I was about three hours into a four-hour drive and I had about 55 miles left. I was passing Exit 8 on the New Jersey Turnpike. It was dry road conditions. I was running about probably 68-70 miles per hour. Right about the speed limit. I guess there was a drainage clog and all of sudden I ran into a pretty thick pool of water and I was in a rental car. I have hit bigger pools of water than that before, but I had been in SUV's so it didn't really necessarily scare me that much, but then once my entire car got into it, [then] I started to hydroplane. To be honest with you, I don't know how many times I spun around, but after maybe the second, third or fourth one, I started to see the median coming at me. I braced up and was incredibly blessed the air bag deployed. I have a couple cuts, burns and a busted lip, but I walked out of the car. The crazy thing was I put my blinkers on and pulled my phone out of my pocket and was just getting ready to call 911, not because I needed medical attention, but I knew it was a dangerous situation with a car just sitting on the New Jersey Turnpike. Before I could call 911, I look behind me and hear a splash and turn around and there is a Nissan Maxima that was hydroplaning as well and then ran into my car going faster than what I was. I sprint over to the car and try to look in the driver side. There were air bags covering it. Then I tried to open the door. It was bent. I tried to open the door behind that and that was bent up. Run over to the other side and finally the fourth door that I tried to open, I had to jiggle it a couple times and then put my foot on the car to pry it open. I peaked inside and the guy was completely knocked out and gushing blood from his nose. I was a little bit nervous at that point not to touch his neck, and so I was trying to jostle his shoulder to wake him up because if he can move we have to get him out of the car because it is about to be a pile up. After about 20 seconds he woke up and I was able to unbuckle him and pull him out of the back of the car and then he spilled himself onto the New Jersey Turnpike and then we got onto the shoulder and called the New Jersey state police and they were there in less than ten minutes. It makes you realize how fragile life is.
Question: While this was going on, was there any part of you that said you should have just stayed home and not be at practice on Monday?
Weatherford: I worked so hard between taking that flight at noon San Diego time and then getting all the way almost to Newark and circling and waiting for the storms to pass and then we were about to run out of gas and then we were directed to Dulles in [D.C.]. They said a bus was coming. I waited for two hours. It was a priority for me to be here at practice. I missed three of them last week. I haven't missed an OTA in ten years in the NFL. Granted my family comes first, but then I decided to rent a car. I knew if I kept waiting on the bus, I was going to be late to practice. Tom Coughlin doesn't get down like that. Rented a car and everything was going fine until I hit mile marker eight and that is when everything went down. I felt blessed before that, but really feeling the love now.
If you want even more, check out the video of Weatherford's interview on Giants.com. That includes a few things the transcript does not.