I’ve got a really nasty one brewing in On a Pale Horse. A little background. Will and his team are performing an ambush of a high profile prisoner. They’re moving her as part of a convoy. The bad guys decide to make a running battle of it, do a drive by, and shoot up the convoy.

Of course Will and company aren’t about to let this happen.

Pam has already done a pit maneuver on one pickup loaded with shooters and flipped it over, effectively putting most of them out of commission, and very nearly herself.

A second vehicle is knocked out of commission by deputies using rifle fire from the back of a pickup truck.

The third and fourth are doing their best to get past Will and RJ (who are in Will’s old 1974 Plymouth Fury patrol car). Will’s doing his best to stay between them and the convoy, but knows sooner or later, one will slip past, or rifle fire from behind will take him and RJ out.

What’s his solution to this no win scenario? Take them out with him.

While the maneuver works, he and RJ end up injured. Thank God for seat belts. So, here’s what happens in a car wreck.

1: The first part of the maneuver is to slam on the brakes. The vehicle behind them is so close it slams into the back of the Plymouth. Even strapped in, this is what happens to Will and RJ.

Whiplash – The head and upper body are propelled forward and then slammed back violently. At the very least we’re talking some serious soft tissue injuries here.

Of course this is nothing compared to what happens to the pickup. There are several gunmen in the back and the sudden stop ejects one of them. He’s still moving forward at seventy miles an hour, and the impact with pavement breaks bones, many of which damage internal organs. Additionally, there are severe head injuries. More than likely, that person is dead by the time he stops moving forward.

The rest of the riders are slammed violently into the cab with bone breaking force. Massive head injuries also occur. Unless the driver and passenger are strapped in, there’s a high probability that one or both may be ejected through the windshield. At the very least, they and the dashboard have become one.

Will has probably taken than pickup out of play.

2: But we’re not finished yet. What Will created is a pit maneuver on himself. As the truck slams into the back of Trigger, it causes uneven acceleration and slams the patrol car around. This causes Will and RJ to both experience high G-forces. Will’s head is propelled into the side window, stunning him.

As the vehicle comes around, the last pickup impacts it head on. This crumples the front end of Trigger, and the force of the impact sends it careening off the highway and into a ditch full of water.

Impacting the second pickup has almost identical consequences as it did with the first pickup. Riders are ejected or slammed into the cab, rendering massive injuries.

What happens? Trigger is actually moving backwards more than forward. Will has lost complete control of the vehicle as it’s subjected to violent shocks. Both Will and RJ are slammed hard against the car seat. It’s a bench seat and their combined weight, coupled with the massive G-forces from the impact force their bodies back. This overstresses the seat design and it breaks.

There are things happening to the car that buffets them now. The dash board crumbles down onto their legs and feet from the crash.

3: The car is slammed off the road into a ditch full of water. We’re not talking a small ditch here, more like a canal. Hitting water with that kind of force isn’t a smooth entry. While it’s not exactly like hitting a solid object, it does mimic some of the qualities.

As the car hits the water, there’s a massive transfer energy into the water. This causes the car to stop rapidly. With most of their safety features out of action and with a broken seat, they go into the water head first. This causes massive strain on the back and muscles. Additionally, nearly lying down, they don’t have much seat belt protection. They can easily find themselves catapulted head first into the back seat.

Neither of them is in good shape to do much right then and there. In the story, RJ gets out first and works to help Will out. Will manages to escape, but it’s several minutes before he’s on line. He has a head injury and can’t make himself focus on what’s going on around him. RJ is more lucid and spends several minutes just trying to keep his partner safe.

Suffice it to say our heroes are some seriously hurting puppies when they finally climb up on the ditch bank.

The worst part of all this. They may have just jumped out of the flying pan and into the fire. That night is a long ways from over for any of them.