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The car ahead suddenly swerved off the road. From the passenger seat, Dan’s father could see the oncoming headlights.
“Just a matter of millimeters could have ended my hopes and dreams as an athlete.”
Last Line of Defense
An All-American goalkeeper for the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos, Dan Kennedy was selected in the fourth round of the 2005 Major League Soccer (MLS) Supplemental Draft and went on to be named the United Soccer League (USL) Rookie of the Year as a member of the Puerto Rican Islanders. After a one-year stint in Chile with Municipal Iquique, he joined Los Angeles-based Chivas USA of the MLS in 2008.
Meeting the Challenge Head On
William Kennedy’s 2003 Mercedes-Benz E320 Sedan was engineered with a sophisticated body structure featuring High-Strength/Low-Alloy steel and robust cross-members behind the dashboard. The vehicle also possessed an advanced front crumple zone that helped not only to absorb the energy of the collision, but to redirect it over, under and around the cabin. Today, William drives a 2007 E350 Sedan.
Along for the Ride
Because his own family’s vehicle was too crowded after one of many dinners with the Kennedys, Greg McAthy found himself in the backseat of the Kennedy car on the night of the accident. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital with Dan’s mother, Terry -- and sent home with some bruised ribs. Greg and his wife currently own a 2010 E550 Sedan.
No Broken Bones
Amazingly, Dan and his passengers emerged from the collision with no major injuries -- as evidenced by the official police report. “My dad didn’t even need an ambulance,” he recalls, “and no one had any broken bones. Given how serious this accident was, I still can’t believe it.”
Setting the Scene
As the Kennedys headed back from dinner on Oct 11, 2003, the driving conditions on US Highway 101 were similar to those shown in this video -- taken by a California Department of Transportation traffic camera at the Las Positas Road/US 101 interchange in Santa Barbara.