Accident survivors still healing, get engaged at Eiffel Tower

By Dylan Thomas

Photo contributed
Will Andersen and Stephanie Estes got
engaged in Paris this past summer after a year of dating. Both students survived the Nov. 17, 2005, car accident that claimed the lives of Lindsay Chain and Jessica Kaufman.

With the approaching one year anniversary of the accident that claimed the lives of Flagler College students Lindsay Chain and Jessica Kaufman, Will Andersen and Stephanie Estes are keeping their spirits up by keeping their minds more focused on more important things.
Both Andersen and Estes were in the front seats of the car and sustained serious injuries. Andersen broke his spine and had to have seven vertebrae of his back fused together. He also had his right foot amputated.

Estes fractured her skull, broke several ribs, and shattered her left Femur in three places.

“Everyone kept saying they were going to pimp out my walker with streamers and glitter,” Estes said.
Since the accident, both have made remarkable recoveries.

Andersen has been trying to get back some of his strength and speed by partaking in local sports teams.
He played on the intramural tennis team where he won more matches than he lost. He also finished out a season of intramural softball with Team Llamas.

Estes, on the other hand, has been keeping herself solely focused on school.

“I have just been trying to stay focused,” she said.

Then this past summer the couple took a trip to Paris. While there, Andersen took Estes, his girlfriend of one year, out to dinner on top of the Eiffel Tower. While at the top of the tower, Andersen proposed.

“It was so cute,” Estes said. “The waitress brought us some pink champagne and Will told me that the past year had been the best year of his life. Then he got up and came around the table and on his way he tripped over some chords. He was so nervous he was shaking.”

“After I asked her the question, she didn’t say anything,” Anderson said. “She just gave me a hug. After the hug I was like, ‘So is that a

Estes promptly replied with an ecstatic yes.

After they returned, the couple settled down back into St. Augustine and prepared for a new school year.

Both have been trying to keep themselves busy and do not plan to get married until they both finish college. In the meantime, Estes is enjoying the fact that she now gets to look through mountains of wedding magazines.

“Will wouldn’t let me buy a single magazine until we were actually engaged,” she said. “The second our dinner was over on top of the Eiffel Tower, I immediately went and bought some.”

The accident occured on Nov. 17, 2005, when a tractor-trailer struck the 2004 Volkswagen Beetle carrying Chain, Kaufman, Andersen and Estes. The driver, Miguel Leon, was charged with careless driving in 2006.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Be the first to comment on "Accident survivors still healing, get engaged at Eiffel Tower"

Leave a comment