Pfab rebounds from serious auto accident
JACKSON TWP — The night of June 13, 2015 began as any other for Tori Pfab.
It didn't end that way.
Pfab had recently wrapped up her junior season on Seneca Valley's softball team. She left her Cranberry Township home to buy coffee.
“It was about 9:30 p.m.,” she said. “My mom wasn't going to let me go, but she allowed me.”
Shortly after, the car Pfab was a passenger in was hit by another vehicle.
“The car T-boned us and it hit the passenger-side door, right where I was sitting. The car we were in ended up catching fire. That was about 10 minutes after we got out, but it was still scary. I think about it now, I could've been burned or even died.”
Pfab initially believed she had escaped major injury.
“At first, I didn't feel pain. But then the paramedics asked me to turn my head this way and that and I couldn't do it,” she said.
Pfab had suffered a fractured sternum, concussion and whiplash. Her softball playing had to be put on hold.
“As soon as the accident happened, I thought about the college showcase I was supposed to go to the very next day in Cranberry,” said Pfab. “There were going to be a lot of coaches there.”
Pfab had hopes of playing softball at the Division II or III level, but the accident derailed those plans.
“Over the summer, I couldn't play and missed showcases and I was really upset. I ended up going to physical therapy for two and a half months. Even now, I still have stiffness in my neck and I get headaches. I realized that I wasn't going to be able to play in college.
“But I wanted to come back and play high school ball. I like being part of a team, but I was scared. I wasn't sure I would make the team this season or still be a starter like I was last year.”
Pfab has not only returned to the Raiders, as the team's lone senior, she is batting .300 and tracking down balls in left field.
“Any time a kid is in an accident like that, there's always doubt as to whether they are going to be able to play again,” said SV coach George Trew. “The fact that Tori is back is a testament to her will.”
It wasn't long ago that Pfab was playing to impress college coaches. She thought she had four more years of softball after her high school playing days were over. She is now in the midst of her final weeks of playing the sport she loves.
“I'm playing just for fun now and that has helped me relax,” said Pfab. “We haven't had the best season (the Raiders will most likely miss the WPIAL playoffs), but I still get excited to play in the games.”
In an ironic twist of fate, the accident has led to a sort of calling for Pfab.
“I remember how much therapy helped me,” she said. “I've decided to major in physical therapy.”