Sherry Carroll Rollins, a central character in the controversial Rollins v. Rollins divorce case, was injured recently in an automobile crash on U.S. 280 near Birmingham. The incident involves a number of oddities that might cause a reasonable person to wonder if this was an "accident" or a planned hit, designed to hurt or intimidate someone.
The extent of Rollins' injuries are not known; thanks largely to the monstrous cheat job she encountered in her Shelby County divorce case, she has no health insurance--and she has not received a thorough medical examination since the crash on May 24. But she tells Legal Schnauzer that, post-wreck, she has experienced persistent neck, back, chest, hip, leg, ankle and foot pain.
How severe was the impact when another driver plowed into the rear of Rollins' 2007 Subaru Forester? Her vehicle was totaled, and her passenger, daughter-in-law Kristie Parrish, has been diagnosed with a detached retina that will require surgery. It appears that nothing struck Parrish in the eye; the retina detached from the force of the crash.
Rollins was traveling east on 280, near the Whole Foods Market in Mountain Brook, when the crash occurred. Sarah Rollins, Sherry's oldest daughter, was coming for a visit the next day, and Ms. Rollins and Ms. Parrish were going to World Market in the Target shopping center to pick up some blinds for the windows in Sarah's room.
They were perhaps halfway to their destination, in the center lane, when Sherry Rollins said she felt what seemed like an explosion from the rear of her vehicle. It was 8:05 p.m. on a Friday, but Rollins states that she did not notice lights coming from behind her.
A 2011 Acura TSX, driven by a 23-year-old male nurse at UAB Hospital, hit the Rollins vehicle in the rear. Rollins says she was driving about 55 mph and estimates the other driver was traveling at least 75 mph in order to catch up to her and hit with such force. From an e-mail to Legal Schnauzer that Rollins sent about four hours after the crash:
I was going about 55 on 280 just past whole foods at about 8:00 p.m. A car came up behind me and hit me in the rear doing about 75; I think the car is totaled. I am sore and my back hurts. My ankles hurt too for some reason. Kristie, Eric's wife, was with me. She is having a headache and her back hurts too. The paramedics came. Checked her out. She is pretty shaken. Never been in a wreck before.
I am now home by the Mtn. Brook police and have no car as the car was towed away . . . undrivable.
Felt weird because you never expect to just be hit when you haven't hit your brakes and are driving down a three lane highway in the middle lane. It sounded like the car had exploded. It was so loud . . . fluids gushing from the car.
Rollins visited St. Vincent's Hospital the next day and was seen in the emergency room. Rollins states that, because she lacks health insurance, ER personnel declined to administer an MRI and other tests that might have revealed musculoskeletal and internal injuries. They focused instead on writing prescriptions for pain killers and muscle relaxants. Dr. John Ammon did examine her, and this is from a subsequent e-mail that Rollins sent to Legal Schnauzer:
The [doctor] at St. Vincent's where I went Saturday to the ER to see if I was o.k. said that was probably the strangest wreck he had ever heard in the ER. He said cars don't usually follow behind you and plow into you unless you have put on your brakes. I DID NOT brake . . . the guy just hit us for no apparent reason.
The Alabama Uniform Traffic Crash Report for the incident says Unit 1 (driven by the UAB nurse) was traveling an estimated 50 mph, while Unit 2 (driven by Rollins) was traveling about 45 mph. Here is the key portion of a brief narrative:
Driver of Unit One stated he looked down to get his drink when all of a sudden the airbags deployed. Driver of Unit Two stated they were driving east on US 280 when driver of Unit One hit them from behind.
What about those oddities we mentioned earlier? Here are a few questions to ponder:
* Was the UAB nurse driving without lights at 8:05 p.m.?
* How could the UAB nurse have caught up to a vehicle driving 45 mph and inflicted that much damage while driving 50 mph?
* How do you accidentally hit a vehicle that hard when it is moving in front of you, when it has not braked? Did the nurse's air bags deploy before impact or upon impact?
* Why did the St. Vincent's ER physician say it sounded like possibly the strangest wreck he had ever heard about?
* The timing of the wreck is curious, just one day before Sarah Rollins visit. We have reported that Sarah Rollins is the beneficiary of a trust fund that her father, Campus Crest Communities CEO Ted Rollins, has kept under wraps. Sarah, age 19, is entitled under the law to know about the provisions of the trust fund, which was established by her grandfather (and Ted's father), John Rollins Sr. Both Sarah and her mother have been kept in the dark about the fund.
The car crash becomes even more curious when you consider that this is not the first time Sherry Rollins has been on the receiving end of a vehicle-related incident that could have resulted in serious injury or even death. Since Ms. Rollins marriage to Ted Rollins began to unravel in the 1990s, this is the third such incident.
(To be continued)