A Husband's Memoir of Trauma and Triumph
One of life’s biggest clichés becomes a horrific reality when Douglas Segal’s wife and daughter are hit head-on by a Los Angeles city bus. Following the accident, Segal began sending regular email updates to their circle of friends and family, a list that continued to grow as others heard of the event and were moved by the many emotional and spiritual issues it raised. Alternatingly harrowing, humorous, heartbreaking, and hopeful, Segal’s memoir is an intimate and honest chronicle built around these email updates, and is a profound example of how people show up for one another in times of crisis. It is ultimately uplifting—a tribute to how love, determination, and the compassion of community all hold the power to heal, while also serving as an inspiring testament to the resilience of the human spirit when faced with pain and adversity.
Published by Prospect Park Books; Audio Book read by the author is also available.
“Struck is a beautiful testament to the magic ability we carry as humans to come together and heal from the most impossible wreckage.”
Praise for STRUCK
“Struck is a beautiful testament to the magic ability we carry as humans to come together and heal from the most impossible wreckage. Douglas Segal’s story moves your heart to break into a billion pieces and warms it back together with the brilliance, sincerity, and humor of his writing.”
— Jill Soloway, Sundance award-winning director and creator of the Amazon original series Transparent
"Hope and love trump tragedy in this heartfelt, vigorous memoir."
“This inspiring and heartwarming book underlines the importance of faith and love in the face of trauma.”
— Publishers Weekly
“If love is the answer, the question is, how do I add more of it into my life? Susan and Doug's story of resilience teaches us not only how to survive life's biggest challenges, but how to make life worth living.”
― Annabelle Gurwitch, author of I See You Made an Effort and Wherever You Go, There They Are
“A powerful book that shows us a new way to look at incredible hardship. Being struck is not a tragic end, but rather a beginning: an opportunity to experience the awe-inspiring effects of love, community, and grit.”
— Amy Silverstein, author of Sick Girl and My Glory Was I Had Such Friends
“Struck is the captivating tale of a family being hit by a thunderbolt and dealing with the aftermath. Brilliantly written, beautifully observed, with humor in even the darkest moments, it’s an Everyman journey past near-death to a resolution that borders on the miraculous.”
— Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer, author of Killers of the King and The Spencers
“Struck is an extraordinary love story. Doug Segal’s fluid, honest, insightful, funny, and very public look at his and Susan’s marriage couldn’t have been made up even by the best Hollywood writer, of which Doug is one. It’s a real-life story about what it takes for a woman to survive getting hit by a bus. This is a tale of human resilience, inner strength, courage, compassion, patience, acceptance, and appreciation of what’s most important―the love of a man and a woman, of family, friends, and community. It’s also a story about really good parenting, about Doug’s loving care for his children while Susan was in the hospital, and their courage as they contemplated losing their mother.”
— Rabbi John L. Rosove, author of Why Judaism Matters: Letters of a Liberal Rabbi to his Children & the Millennial Generation and senior rabbi at Temple Israel of Hollywood
Doug Segal has written and produced movies for Warner Bros., Disney and MGM, and television for Fox, The CW, Showtime, A&E, History, Discovery Channel, The Cartoon Network and others. The projects he has been involved in have been nominated for a Golden Globe Award, Grammy Award, People’s Choice Award and have won numerous Teacher Choice and Parent Choice awards. He continues to work in the entertainment industry and lives in Los Angeles with his family where he also serves on the Board of Trustees at Temple Israel of Hollywood.
How did she...?
that unforgettable day
...I immediately searched the area for Alyce and finally saw her on the corner of the street amid a number of passersby and bus passengers. She was standing there crying, a stranger comforting her.
I ran up to her and pulled her into my arms. As she buried her head into my chest, sobbing, I looked beyond her to the car and thought, Oh, my God, how is she even still alive? She was covered in tiny shards of glass, in her hair, on her clothes, but uninjured…and she had been in the front seat! I held onto her, unable to believe the miracle of her. I remember thinking, Am I really holding on to my baby girl? Or have I gone crazy and she’s actually still in the front seat of the car and I’ve slipped into some other reality where my brain created this alternative universe, unable to cope with having lost her? I held her tighter. Still, I couldn’t imagine if I had run up to this horrific scene and found her body, limp in the front seat of the accordioned car.
I brushed the glass and tears off her cheeks, bent down, and asked her if she was okay. Did she hurt anywhere? She shook her head no.
As I held her, I could see the emergency crew cutting the roof off the car to reach Susan, still trapped in its crumpled frame.
“Wait right here, baby, okay? I want to go check on Mommy.”
She nodded, still crying, afraid of what I was going to find in the driver’s seat.
I let go of her and walked toward the car. As I approached, I first saw the passenger side, the deflated air bag, the destroyed interior, the door completely popped off, strewn on the sidewalk. I again shook my head in disbelief that Alyce had walked away from this.
And then I saw Susan inside.
She was conscious, but pinned under the dashboard and steering wheel, her air bag also deployed and deflated. There was no front windshield—there was no front end, for that matter—but by some miracle she was conscious and reaching with her left arm for someone to help her. There was some blood on the air bags, but I couldn’t see the source. Honestly, I couldn’t see much of anything.
She blindly called out for someone to help her, anyone, her eyes not focused. I shouted to her, but she couldn’t hear me. I yelled again, but I was too far away. I tried to move closer to let her know I was there, but a policeman or paramedic held me back. “You need to clear the area, sir.”
And that was my cue to recite my line in this surreal movie scene. “I’m her husband.”
The officer was compassionate but continued to usher me away. Susan still didn’t know I was there, didn’t know Alyce was okay. She was alone in her hell, and I was helpless.