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Impact: Real Drivers. Life-Changing Stories.

Explore unscripted accounts of survival and newfound perspective

Alexander Brigandi

Westport, Connecticut

“I had gone off the highway at 70 mph and landed so far into the woods, passing cars would have never seen me.”
Mercedes E-Class Sedan Safety and Protection

It was a cool April evening in Connecticut, I was a freshman in college, and I was churning my way through midterms. Needless to say, I was stressed out and over tired, so once a group study session had ended, it was back home for some much-needed rest. It was only a 15-minute drive, but at some point I yawned and rested my eyes for what felt like just a second. The next thing I remember is hearing glass shattering all around me, the awful sound of riding over rough terrain, and then my E-Class wrapping itself around a tree.

As I regained consciousness, I felt in a fog and disoriented. The smell of burning plastic, rubber, and the deflated airbag was in my nostrils and will stay with me forever. I went to grab my cellphone, which had been in the seat next to me, but was now on the floor in multiple pieces. With the phone out of commission, my only connection to help was the Tele-Aid operator who had automatically come on the line to check on me.

Still, as I had no idea where I was, my first instinct was to get out of the car. When I finally clambered out of my Mercedes under a full moon, I saw what happened: I had gone off the highway at 70 mph and landed so far into the woods, passing cars would have never seen me.

As I stood shocked and shaking, I looked at what was once the most beautiful car I had ever seen — it was now a complete and total wreck. I nearly broke down, but reminded myself that I was still moving, walking, and talking. My old E-Class served its purpose and did everything it was supposed to do.

Learn more about the E-Class Safety Features

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