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Mariel Street of Liberty Burger Doesn’t Let Car Wreck Destroy Her Plans to Open Liberty French Fried Chicken

Last Saturday Mariel Street, the gal behind Liberty Burger, got in her car and headed to the Meddlesome Moth to meet with Sam Wynne, the head honcho at Rodeo Goat in Fort Worth. She never made it. Her car struck a light pole and she walked away from the accident without any major injuries. Mariel has written a bittersweet letter about the accident which I have copied and pasted below the jump. She details her talent for texting and driving. It made me think.

Mariel spent one day at home. Today she out trying to get her new venture Liberty French Fried Chicken started. According to her father, Gene Street, the chicken will be “sort of fancy.” We have been working on a method or technique that will eliminate some of the fat and calories but still fried in deep fryer,” Gene said. “It involves a German process that we think is gonna work.”

Jump for Mariel’s account of the accident.

Email from Mariel Street

We all think we are invincible. I sure as heck was. I was a master driver. Beautiful record.

I could drive with one knee, put my makeup on in the car, fumble through the radio stations. I could apply mascara, read my health insurance number off to Blue Cross Blue Shield (that 14digiti member ID). I could map, google, and text. I could text without my eyes, only looking down to press “send”. I was a master driver with superior iphone skills. I was a pro. I was invincible.

Or so I thought.

Saturday, I was driving to meet a friend at Meddlesome Moth. Sam Wynne got me a little fired up with his new Rodeo Goat and I wanted to see what concepts he was up to. I had never been, so I needed to map it.

I was sober. Zero alcoholic beverages in my system. I was dressed fancy. I was clear headed. I was alone. My makeup already on, my station set to NPR, I had no reason to not have two hands on the wheel. I took the normal road, Sylvan. The same road I take a minimum of twice a day. it is the only road in and out of oak cliff to get to 30. I take the exact same road every single day on my way to work and from work. I could almost drive it with my eyes closed, or that’s what I would have said a few days ago.

I mapped my route before leaving the house. I knew how to get all the way to 35. I knew how to get out of Oak Cliff. But when I was about to get to the Colorado stop light, i looked down to see what my next move was (and by “next move” i mean the one that was literally about 4 steps ahead…as in what I would do after i turned on 30, after i exited 30, after i got on 35, after I exited 35). I had no need to look at my phone. I just did. out of habit. When I did, I missed the curve in the road and i drove straight into a light pole going 30 miles per hour. Head on. Straight into the pole. I never saw it coming. I never looked up.

The next thing I know, i smell smoke. My knee hurts. My head hurts. I feel my face, no blood. I touch my leg, it’s stuck. I rip it loose and cut my knee in the process. The knee is a beaut. Already swelling. The door won’t open. I kick it out with my good left leg, only to realize my foot is in serious pain. I stumble out of the car, take a step back, and see what I have done. I have hit a city light pole, in the middle of the road. The pole is hanging on an electrical wire. My car went from 17 ft long to 10 ft long. Engine is in my front seat. Glove box in the back. Wheels popped off. Head lights on either side of the road.

I run my hands all over my body. Nothing. I am alive. I am ok. I hurt, so I can’t be dead. I call my mom. I call my dad. Then I call the police. People had begun running outside. Cars stopping. My life was literally a fraction of a millisecond away from beyond radically altered. I should be dead. I should be paralyzed. I should be in a coma. I should be in the hospital. I should be in jail for reckless driving. Something should have happened….yet nothing did. God gave me the biggest wakeup call I have ever had. I have never gotten a message so loud and clear. It is a miracle I walked out of that car and was at home an hour later in pajamas on the couch. God spared me to teach me and all of us a lesson.

I was the biggest texter and driver. I was more professional that anyone I know. I could text you moby dick in its entirety and drive on the tollroad at the same time. I was as good as they get. But one day, there will be a moment when your skill at texting and your skill at driving will simply not matter one iota. The pole will get you. fate will get you. you will hurt yourself or worse, hurt someone else. i could have killed a kid. a mom. a dad. a family.

Do not let this happen to you.

Turn your phone OFF. Take it from me, it is not worth it.

Despite walking away, the past 3 days I cannot move. My body is so sore, I cry all day long. I cannot wipe my nose, wipe my butt, reach my knees, touch my face. I can’t sit up, stand up, or change positions in the bed. I can’t raise my arms, lower my arms, or turn my head. The pain meds make my vomit, so I can only take 1/3 the prescription, and that does nothing to the pain.

Turn you phone off. Think of me. Remember this car. Do not do it to yourself and to us. You have been warned with a real life experience. Don’t be the idiot that didn’t get the message loud and clear. TURN YOUR PHONE OFF WHEN YOU ARE IN THE CAR> IT WILL CATCH UP WITH YOU.
Mariel Street

16 comments on “Mariel Street of Liberty Burger Doesn’t Let Car Wreck Destroy Her Plans to Open Liberty French Fried Chicken

  1. Thanks Mariel,
    I’m glad you are basically OK and grateful for the email – I’ve forwarded a copy of it to every member of my family.

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  3. I don’t mean to make this comment thread sound like a broken recorder, but here’s a thank you from me as well. I usually drive with the same mindset as prior-to-accident-you even though I’ve already been in 2 minor accidents. This is definitely a very good reminder for me. XP

  4. Love Mariel! She knows how to run a restaurant and write a convincing letter! I too think I know how to text and drive but now I will think twice,

  5. I would say that’s a real “wake up call”! Glad you’re OK and thanks for the message to all people who use their phone while driving.

    I love your burgers at Liberty Burger and I’m looking forward to your new fried chicken venture.

  6. Sorry your are injured and hope you feel better real soon. You may have saved some lives with this message so I thank you along with everyone else below… I’m forwarding to everyone!

  7. So happy the injuries were superficial Mariel, aside from pain I’m happy to have you in one piece.

    -Sean

  8. “I could drive with one knee, put my makeup on in the car, fumble through the radio stations. I could apply mascara, read my health insurance number off to Blue Cross Blue Shield (that 14digiti member ID). I could map, google, and text. I could text without my eyes, only looking down to press “send”. I was a master driver with superior iphone skills. I was a pro. I was invincible.”

    As written by every woman in DFW.

    Glad you are okay and I hope people heed your warning.

  9. Sorry for the accident. Turning off your phone is not the answer, using technology is. Most cars now come with voice controlled nav, and phone including text. I do everything by voice and don’t take my eyes off the road. Now if I have to deal with a problem or look at email, I simply pull over. If you cannot talk and drive, then do turn you phone off please.

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  11. that was NOT god giving you nothing. It was however your wakeup call. God created us, but he is NOT here to babysit us.. It could have been me on my motorcycle.. God only helps those who helps themselves , and what that is tell you is that next time you may not be as lucky as you were this time.. Just learn your lesson and leave god out of your failures

  12. and I really can careless what anyon has to say about this… Thisis your own personal wakeup call, I as a mtorcyclist hope that you did learn your lesson.. only time will tell