Barbara Mandrell has been retired for 17 years, but the country legend remains haunted by the horrific car accident that nearly claimed her life thirty years ago and threatened to drive her to suicide.

On Sept. 11, 1984, a driver plowed into Barbara’s Jaguar on a trip with her two kids.

The other driver, Mark White, 19, was killed instantly.

The kids were treated for minor injuries, but Barbara suffered multiple fractures, and a concussion that left her with memory loss, speech issues and anger.

“Even today Barbara has nightmares about it,” a friend tells The ENQUIRER. The concussion’s effect on her mental state worried her husband Ken Dudney, who locked away the family’s guns for fear Barbara might try to commit suicide!

“I did not want to die, but that didn’t mean I wanted to live,” she wrote in a past memoir.

“I had mood swings – I apologized to Ken for treating him like dirt.”

Barbara scored a string of hits in the ’70s and ’80s, including her signature tune, “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool.”

Barbara is now an advocate for seat belts. “She believes she and her children would have died had they not been wearing seatbelts,” the friend says.