When Bailey Wind lies down and closes her eyes, she is inside the SUV again, flipping over and over. She doesn't feel impact. There's no pain. One moment she's in her house, and the next she's hurtling through the air.
"It just didn't feel real to me," she said. "To be honest, it felt like a dream. But, a lot of it still doesn't seem real to me."
It's been nine days since the 17-year-old Shaker High senior lost her boyfriend and her friend in a car crash. Shenendehowa High seniors Chris Stewart and Deanna Rivers died that night, and senior Matt Hardy was seriously injured.
The group of teenagers were on a double date watching UAlbany beat Siena in men's basketball. They drove home to Wind's home on Cimarron Way. "Elf" was playing on TV, so they had to catch the last 15 minutes of it. It was Rivers' favorite movie. Wind packed a bag to sleep over at Rivers' house. They all piled into Stewart's SUV, took the Northway and headed toward Exit 8.
"You take a left off of Exit 8 and go straight," said Wind. "That's her neighborhood. We were so close to Deanna's house. We were so close."
Wind didn't see 22-year-old Dennis Drue changing lanes, coming up behind them.
She heard Chris yell "Shit!" and everything went black. She was trapped, being told not to move by paramedics.
For more on the story, see Tuesday's print and online editions of The Daily Gazette.