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Better Life for Teen Victim and Driver After Car Accident

Monday March 30, 2015    9:00 AM

Jeff Wilson wanted to die.

For, at least, several days after he hit a fellow student with his car in high school, the California teen was devastated to his core.

Tammie Baird, a freshman, was not badly hurt, having only chipped an ankle bone. But in a surprising twist of fate, the shocking moment when Tammie flew over Wilson's car, placed her on a unique career path no one could have foreseen.

20-something years later, out of the blue, she wrote an email to Jeff telling him her good news:

"You may have been the first person to hit me with your car, but you weren't the last," she began.

"I became a stunt woman, and now, what I'm known for in my industry is car hits."

"I just really felt like I had to let you know that," Baird told Wilson in a meeting they recorded for StoryCorps.

People often say to the stunt woman, "Wow, you do car hits? How did you get so good at it?"

She always replies, "Well this guy hit me my freshman year walking to school."

The car accident may have changed Jeff's life for the better too. He became a surgical technician, doing a lot of orthopedic surgery. Many of those patients are the result of car accidents, and he feels good helping to make them whole again.