Present During an Accident

Yesterday, while returning home from a wonderful luncheon meeting, I had the music cranked and was following the flow of traffic in one of the north bound lanes of the highway. Suddenly everyone in both lanes hit the brakes. We all managed to stop in a 65 mph speed zone and the rest was a slow motion surreal happening.

Debris was airborne.

Suddenly an eruption of steam and smoke caught my attention. The problem wasn’t in the north bound lanes, but in the south bound on the opposite side of the guard rails.

There appeared to have just been an accident – one vehicle was upside down against the furthest guard rail and another car was facing north and hit in the front, plumes of steam pouring from its hood. How it came to be facing the wrong direction was unclear.

Did they enter the wrong way and cause the accident, or had they been hit and turned around?

Suddenly people began to pull over and leap from their cars, racing to the scene, cell phones in hand. All was quiet and we sat for a moment before realizing we needed to move on. Slowly we pulled away. Those in the south bound lanes weren’t able to go anywhere and were the witnesses to the actual moment of collision.

There wasn’t a police officer in sight yet, nor an EMT. It was a sobering sight and I did what I could, offering up a prayer for those still inside of their vehicles. But I knew help was on the way. We are good at that in the USA.

But other thoughts also crossed my mind. As I was enjoying the beautiful afternoon ride toward home, someone was in real trouble – unexpected and unforeseen. Would they be alright? Would help arrive on time? Would the people racing to help know what to do to comfort and aid them until the emergency vehicles could arrive? Where were they going? Would loved ones be contacted before news of the accident hit the internet?

Am I too curious?

Is it the writer in me that immediately starts building the family connections or is it just part of being human?

Early reports indicated that a tractor-trailor caused the accident. I didn’t see one still at the site, but that doesn’t mean there had not been one that may have clipped the car that was facing the wrong direction. It is still under investigation and I have found no other reports about the crash.

But it has served to remind me how quickly life can change and how actions beyond our control can leave us upside down and helpless.

Be careful out there today and be thankful for our nations emergency workers!

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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  1. Isn’t that the truth? There we are, sailing along in the bubbles of our vehicles with tunes, coffee and such and BAM – life can change in an instant. A sobering sight/feeling indeed.

    Glad you’re OK and hope others are as well.

  2. It is a good reminder that life can change in a split second. I once was on an icy road and watched the car in front of me spin out and hit the guardrail at 80 miles an hour. He died instantly. A bunch of us got out of our cars to see if there was anything we could do, but he was definitely gone. When the ambulance and police arrived we all got back in our cars and drove 10 miles an hour. No one wanted to go any faster. It was haunting and awful.

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