Steve Guzman awoke and was surprised to see CHP officers, paramedics and firemen surrounding his car. He was dazed, confused, desperate to remember what had happened – how he went from cruising down the 5 freeway in Anaheim to suddenly being at a dead stop with authorities attempting to assist him.
It was Monday, May 14, about 4:30 p.m. The 27-year-old had just worked his first full day at CAPC in Whittier, a nonprofit organization that works with adults with disabilities, and he was on his way back to his Santa Ana home when the accident occurred. He lost consciousness and control of his 2005 Scion xB and drifted from the fast lane through moderate afternoon traffic and into a wall on the opposite side of the freeway. He avoided hitting anyone else but the impact totaled his vehicle.
He doesn’t remember any of that.
“They asked me my name and I couldn’t remember,” Guzman said during a recent interview, sitting comfortably on the couch in his parents’ family room almost three months after the accident. You can tell he’s still searching for answers about what happened that day, his eyes squinting slightly as he tries to recall all the details.
“I couldn’t remember who I was or what I was doing. In the ambulance they asked me what day it was and I said really fast, ‘May 14th!’ I kept saying ‘May 14! May 14!’ It was the only thing I could remember because it was my first official day at that job and I was actually going to be paid. I was so looking forward to it for such a long time, so that was the first thing to come back to me. Then they asked my name and I said: ‘Steve!’ I could remember my name.”