Woman believes miracle, guardian angles saved her life

Brian CorleyGeorge Fujii, top, and his step daughter, TravZ Cuckhoff, 7, feel lucky to have their mother, Jill Fujii, center, and her son Shane Fujii, 13, after an accident blocks from their home last Monday.

Brian CorleyGeorge Fujii, top, and his step daughter, TravZ Cuckhoff, 7, feel lucky to have their mother, Jill Fujii, center, and her son Shane Fujii, 13, after an accident blocks from their home last Monday.

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Jill Fujii believes she has a guardian angel.

After being thrown through the windshield of her car Monday night while her horrified husband and 8-year-old daughter watched from the car behind her, it's tough to argue the point.

"I'm doing really really good despite what happened," she said. "I feel very lucky. It's really a miracle."

Fujii, of Gardnerville, was injured when her sport utility vehicle was struck at the intersection of East Valley Road and Crockett Lane by a 1970 Ford truck driven by 41-year-old Andrew MacMillan, according to a Nevada Highway Patrol report.

Contributing factors to the accident were MacMillan's excessive speed and failing to yield the right of way, the report states. But the report doesn't estimate the speed of either car.

Fujii said Saturday he may have been going 60 to 80 mph.

"It was just the wrong place at the wrong time," she said. "An old country road. He must have though no one else was out there."

Fujii, her son, Shane Miller, and MacMillan were also hospitalized following the wreck. Fujii and Shane were treated and released Tuesday.

At home on Saturday, Fujii said she wasn't going to win any beauty contests with her two black eyes, bruises and array of tiny cuts, but that she is glad to be alive "to see the sunset and have another day.

"I definitely have something else to do. And I hope it's not just cleaning my floors. I hope it's something big like Ed McMahon at my door."

MacMillan, 41, remained in critical condition Sunday at Washoe Medical Center in Reno.

Jill and her husband, George Fujii, co-own West Coast Martial Arts in Minden.

They were driving home in separate cars Monday shortly after 9 p.m. on East Valley Road.

Fujii said he watched as MacMillan's truck hit the passenger side of his wife's car.

"(Jill Fujii) flew out of the windshield," he said. Her son was pinned inside the car.

"I must have been knocked out in the car because I don't remember going through the windshield. I looked up and saw my son moving around in the car and just laid back down and passed out."

East Fork paramedics freed the boy, 13, from the car using the Jaws Of Life.

Fujii's wife was taken to the hospital by Care Flight with facial injuries. Shane sustained similar injuries.

"It's a miracle they are walking around and I'm hugging them," George Fujii said.

"I saw this (wreck) coming," he said. "It happened right in front of (me.) It was the most horrible thing knowing that your family is there and the shock of it."

Fujii stopped and went to his wife who laid unconscious on the ground. Paramedics arrived about five minutes later, he said.

Local residents called 911 and came out to the crash site, he said.

Jill Fujii said surviving the crash gave her the "most miraculous feeling."

"I feel I have a guardian angel."

While driving south on East Valley Road, Fujii saw the truck's headlights coming toward her.

"It didn't register how fast (the lights were) coming at me," she said. "I remember seeing real bright lights (out of) the corner of my eye. I first noticed them at the front. The second time, they were literally on the passenger side door.

"Then I remember this big giant hit and a mouthful of dirt," she said. "I looked up and yelled 'Shane, Shane.'"

She said she doesn't remember going through the windshield or flying through the air and hitting the ground.

"All I remember is tasting dirt," she said. "I had a peaceful feeling, and I knew everything was going to be OK.

"It was a miracle."

She said East Fork Paramedics were "so awesome."

Also, residents who came and called 911 and consoled the victims showed Fujii the value of a small community.

"The pouring out of people in neighborhood and how much they care," she said. "It's awesome to live in a small town with people who care."

For the past week neighbors have been bringing food and helping Fujii's family rebound from the accident.

"They're treating me like I'm dead," she said. "They say 'love you' and I say 'I love you, too.'"

The night of the accident as paramedics treated Fujii outside in the 14-degree night air, neighbors took her daughter in out of the the cold and did their best to comfort her.

"It's such a great place to live," she said. "I just thank God I'm here and that I'm with my family."

Regarding MacMillan, she said, "I don't want him to be hurt. I'm not angry.

"I'm so thankful that my son is alive, that I'm alive and we don't have long-term injuries.

"I feel for his family and his three children the most."

No charges have been filed and it's unknown if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash, according to the report. Fujii said she had not heard if he had been drinking but that there were beer bottle all around the crash site.

Fujii said the accident made her "sit back and realize how fortunate I am to have these people and what they mean to me."

Her husband agrees.

"To me, it's such a miracle," he said.


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