Gavilan football player flips car, escapes uninjured

Armond Henderson flipped his car Friday morning on Ferguson Road

An 18-year-old Gavilan football player who swerved to miss a
rogue animal and flipped his car into a ditch Friday morning on
Ferguson Road emerged from the wreck almost without a scratch.
An 18-year-old Gavilan football player who swerved to miss a rogue animal and flipped his car into a ditch Friday morning on Ferguson Road emerged from the wreck almost without a scratch.

“I’ve had worse (injuries) on the football field,” said Armond Henderson, lifting up his shorts to show minor cuts on each of his shins.

Henderson was driving at about 9:30 a.m. northbound on Ferguson road in rural east Gilroy, returning home after spending the night at his parents house in Los Banos, when he crashed.

“An animal came across the road and I swerved,” he said. “All of a sudden I’m rolling.”

The 2005 maroon Chevrolet Aveo on loan from his aunt lay on its driver’s side in a ditch on the side of the road.

“I think she’ll just be happy I’m alive,” Henderson said.

The Aveo was facing the wrong direction, its nose pointed to the south, and a spider web of cracks covered the windshield. The vehicle had hit a guide wire from an electrical pole and the crash started a small brush fire that firefighters from the South Santa Clara County Fire District put out quickly. Deputies with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol officers blocked off Ferguson between Godfrey and Crews roads while they waited for a Marx Towing truck to pull the Aveo out of the ditch. PG&E was on site by about 10:20 a.m. and CHP planned to reopen the road after the wires were repaired.

Henderson was alone in the vehicle and waited for a few minutes from the time of the crash until a rescue crew arrived, after a neighbor called police.

“I was just chillin’,” he said.

He ended up standing on the steering wheel and crawling out the passenger side window. Luckily, he was wearing a seat belt, he said. An officer questioned him extensively about the amount of sleep he received the previous night, whether he was on medication at the time and if he was talking on his cell phone while driving. Although Henderson said he received adequate sleep and answered “no” to the last two questions, CHP officers caution motorists about the dangers of talking on their phones while driving.

After receiving treatment on site from paramedics for his injuries, Henderson waited around to retrieve his belongings – a laptop, cell phone and football gear – from the car.

“If I can rescue that, I’ll be fine,” he said.

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