Woman in good spirits after wreck

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 29, 2011

By Elizabeth Cook
SALISBURY — Joyce Curl has two broken legs, a broken elbow, severe bruising — and a grateful heart.
“I am blessed and highly favored,” Curl said in a telephone interview from her hospital bed Wednesday evening.
The wreck that landed her in a Winston-Salem hospital on Christmas Day killed two men and could have been fatal for her, too.
“I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I had angels on each bumper,” she said.
And God was with her.
“He had his arms around my chest and neck,” she said, — the areas of her body that escaped serious injury.
Curl was on her way home from church Sunday afternoon, planning to pick up gifts to take to her son and grandchildren.
“I’m so grateful they were not with me,” she said.
She had just turned off Jake Alexander Boulevard onto Harrison Road when a speeding car coming from the opposite direction veered across the center line and crashed into her car.
“I didn’t see them coming,” Curl said. “I heard a crunch and thought, ‘What has happened?’ ”
She saw that her airbags had deployed — and then apparently passed out.
“I did not recognize anything until I saw my friends when they rolled me into the ER.”
Curl works as a patient advocate at Rowan Regional Medical Center, where she was taken before being transferred to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.
Killed in the wreck were Jairo Mercado, 18, of Peach Orchard Road, and David Molina, 23, of Chesapeake Drive.
According to the Highway Patrol, Mercado was driving about 75 mph in a 45 mph zone when the Buick he was driving ran off the road in a curve. He overcorrected and swerved into Curl’s 2009 Nissan.
Curl said she felt for the families of the young men.
“There’s a mother hurting somewhere,” she said.
“I don’t have any malice.”
Friends from First Baptist Church, Rowan Regional and the community have rallied around Curl, who faces surgery today and months of rehabilitation.
She’s accustomed to keeping up a good pace — volunteering at Rowan Helping Ministries and being active at First Baptist, for example.
Becky Lowery said Curl has always been an outgoing, friendly neighbor.
“Most recently I watched her performing in the Singing Christmas Tree,” Lowery said in an email to the Post, “and as she was on the third row, I watched her and ironically thought just how beautiful she was — looking much like an angel.”
It will be months before Curl can walk again, but she sounded chipper as she talked about the future and how grateful she was to survive the accident.
“I have a lot to be chipper about,” she said. “I guess I’m just made out of the good stuff.”