An early Sunday Salon: Which I'm writing out of necessity, because I have to rant big-time

Saturday, October 29, 2011


The Sunday 
Salon.com

Once again, I had to turn to writing to help me grapple with the enormity of a mess I faced yesterday. Writing is therapeutic to me in that way, and putting down my thoughts on paper (or screen) works wonders.

There wasn't a blogging plan on my radar for this weekend, because my friends in Raleigh and I were supposed to be in Asheville now, enjoying the last few leaves holding out this Fall. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, or I wouldn't be typing this out. Instead, about an hour out of Lynchburg, on my way to Raleigh via US 29 S, with cars blazing at 60-70mph on the highway, a massive west-bound truck-trailer combo (I sadly never saw what the vehicle was, this is what the witnesses told me) FRIGGING pulled in front of me at an intersection, with no lights on and not even looking at the busy traffic. I saw the back of the vehicle, 2 seconds before I would hit him. I was flying at 60mph, he was dragging at 15mph. Can you imagine being 2 seconds away from a deadly crash? I was too gobsmacked to even curse or honk!

There was a car on my right, so switching lanes wasn't even an option, nor was staying on the lane. I did the only trying-to-save-myself thing I could, and that was drive left into oncoming traffic. Luckily, somewhere at the back of my head, I knew there weren't any vehicles there (yet), and since I was royally screwed any which way, I turned around, braking all the way. I banged through the uneven grassy median, hit some pole on the way, crossed the other side of the road, and ended up on the uneven elevated grass on the far side, a centimeter in front of a tree, missing an electric pole on my left and every other damn car on the way. And that's when I cursed.

After that, I was so shocked and out of it that I was actually backing out and thinking of continuing on my journey, as if nothing happened. It took a minute for that terrible realization to sneak up on me and realize shockingly, but surprisingly that I was fine, with no injury. While I tried to figure out what I was even supposed to do, two amazing Samaritans came by to help me out. They saw the whole damn thing happen, they even had had to slam down their brakes when that truck started crossing in front of them without any lights. (If you have ever faced that split indecision about whether or not to stop and help someone in an accident, trust me, stop and help them. It was the most wonderful feeling in the world to see a couple cars stop by to help me.) The ambulance came in two minutes, but I didn't need any care, and we waited 30-45 minutes for the trooper to pull in. In the meantime, the driver who caused the mayhem actually came by. I didn't know then that he was the guy, because if I did, god help him, he wouldn't have known what hit him (yeah, this is empty threat speaking, I wouldn't really have done that, but I would have loved to yell and rant at him). And funnily, what do you know, he knew everyone on the fire brigade and they were all laughing and joking. I felt pretty horrible about that later.

The trooper came by, did his investigation, and didn't even issue that guy a ticket. He said it was no one's fault that the accident happened, that's like saying hitting a skunk wasn't my fault. I don't know since when obstructing traffic (with deadly consequences) was an okay thing to do. The fact that I know the roads in Lynchburg well doesn't mean that I can close my eyes and drive. I understand that the trooper was looking for evidence of lights on the truck-trailer, since if the driver had them, I would have seen them from far back and slowed down early enough. Apparently, he did have lights, but they were not enough.

One of the guys who helped me out last night was a mechanic, and he helped patch up my car, even test drove it (can I just say how awesome that is, considering we didn't even know how the car would react?) and decided that it was driveable. It's in pretty good shape, considering, but I don't know if there are any hidden dangers. In the meantime, my friends had driven up to the home of the couple who invited me to rest, so they drove behind me all the way back to Lynchburg. Anyways, at this point, I'm waiting for my insurance company to contact his company and figure out who'll pay for fixing up my car. If I have to, I'll know what it feels like to be wronged by justice. But, I'm hoping he will pay, because I did hear it hinted that he will. We'll see.

So that was my pretty overwhelming experience last night. I was plain lucky that nothing happened to me, and that's an even scarier thought. I spent the last 24 hours reliving it, and I know that I did nothing wrong (I was even driving at 5 below the speed limit since it was raining), and reacted with the best option. That's what the witnesses told too, and if I were my mom, I would be embarking on a spiritual pilgrimage now, even to the ends of the earth. There are so many what-ifs that run through my mind, but I know that, if it wasn't me, someone else would have gone through that, because that driver will still be doing that goddamn thing at that minute, putting other people's lives at risk.


50 comments:

Coffee & a BookChick said...

Oh, my goodness!! What a terrifying incident and I'm so happy you are okay. I cannot believe the guy actually had the audacity to smile - who does that? Thank God you are okay and no one was hurt. 

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Oh my! I'm so sorry! Sounds like the mans shouldn't be allowed to drive and his connections may have gotten him off. I'm so sorry to hear you had to go through that. *hug*

Kirsten said...

That sounds so scary! I am glad you are ok. I can't believe the other guy didn't get a ticket!

Tea Time with Marce said...

Aths, I am so happy you are ok, you are alive, how absolutely terrifying.  I can't believe the driver didn't receive a warning, a ticket, nothing..... and there were witnesses, wow.  Anyway, glad you fine and hope you don't have to pay anything.

bermudaonion(Kathy) said...

Oh my gosh, I'm shaking just thinking about what you went through!  It really makes you think what can happen in the blink of an eye.  I'm thankful you're okay.

c b said...

How scary!!! I am SO glad you're okay!! Hopefully the insurance thing would work in your favor... if not, keep bugging them, ask to speak to the manager etc etc...

Lenasledge said...

Oh my, so glad you are okay. You had an angel watching over you for sure. I think that rightly deserved a curse word. :-)

Wendy said...

Wow - what a terrible experience. I am so happy that you are alive and unharmed. Sounds like you reacted exactly right. We never know when the unexpected will happen.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I had a similar thing happen to me once and I remember how horrible it was.  I'm so glad you're okay!!!

epkwrsmith said...

So very glad you are ok!! Sounds like the good ole boy network is alive and well :(
http://epkwrsmith.blogspot.com

Jenn said...

Wow. So sorry that happened to you. I get so angry with horrible drivers, especially as I used to work as an auto insurance liability adjuster, so I know how crappy it is to have to deal with the aftermath of someone else's mistake. Glad you are safe and sound.

Becky (Page Turners) said...

I cant imagine how shocking that must have been. I hope you are able to take some time and relax but try not to dwell on what might have been xx

Leeswammes said...

That's an awful, scary thing to happen to you. Why the other driver didn't get a ticket, I just can't start to imagine.

Hope you're feeling less shaken now and that you don't end up with an enormous bill!

Athira / Aths said...

I'm glad too that nothing worse happened. If the guy had more markers on his vehicle, I would have seen him from far, but nada. Instead I had to try and still risk my life to avoid an accident.

Athira / Aths said...

I'm worried about that too. I never assumed that he wouldn't get a ticket, that was like a punch in my stomach.

Athira / Aths said...

I can't believe it either. It was just so shocking.

Athira / Aths said...

I'm glad I'm fine. I can't believe though that the other guy didn't get any thing. It was just unbelievable.

Athira / Aths said...

True - Suddenly, one moment there was that huge truck in front of me and I was going too fast to be able to slow down without hitting him.

Athira / Aths said...

Yeah, I don't plan to let them just decide something. I hope to hound them to make the other guy pay. I hope this won't go to court.

Athira / Aths said...

It did. I was pretty pissed by what happened.

Athira / Aths said...

I agree, that's what frightened me more. I'm just glad I did what I did or I have no idea what condition I would be in now.

Athira / Aths said...

I am too. I hope the experience you went through wasn't any worse.

Athira / Aths said...

It is. It was terrible watching all that joking.

Athira / Aths said...

That's pretty much what's annoying me. Because that other guy didn't get a ticket, I'm even more worried. Do you know what my chances are in this scenario?

Athira / Aths said...

I felt much better after posting this. It had been bothering me for a while, so it felt great to let it out.

Athira / Aths said...

I feel much better. Luckily, if the other guy didn't pay, my insurance will pay for a good chunk of the repair, but I don't think that's right either, because I was just saving myself, because a guy thought it was okay to drive a huge vehicle without enough markers on, on a rainy day.

zibilee said...

Oh Aths! This is terrible, and even more terrible that the other driver didn't get a ticket just because he seemed to be friends with the state troopers. This is just wrong, and you could have been killed! I am so thankful for your safety, and am going to keep you in my prayers. You shouldn't have to pay for this damage, because he was the one who was so clearly in the wrong. So, so glad you are ok, my friend!

Helen Murdoch said...

What a total nightmare! I am so glad that you are okay and that your car is mostly drivable. I cannot believe the guy didn't even get a ticket. These things are so scary and often make us think about all the "what ifs", but luckily you're just thinking about them. Now you can enter the insurance-hell that I dealt with after a fender bender back in May.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

OMG!  I have been in a few accidents, and let me tell you that when they say your life flashes before you, that's so true.  But meanwhile, everything is happening in slow motion.

How great that there were people to help and that you weren't injured.  But afterwards, you never look at driving the same way again!

Here's my salon post:



http://accidentalmoments.wordpress.com/2011/10/30/tss-saying-goodbye-to-october-oct-30/             

Natasha F. Vasillis said...

Oh my God! That is so crazy! This man could have seriously hurt you and he wasn't even issued a ticket?! Ugh! I'm so glad that you're okay. It's funny to me how it was hinted at that this guy will pay for the damages. That means he knows the accident is his fault. 

Athira / Aths said...

Thanks Heather! I'm hoping that it works out well eventually. I'm totally dreading all the insurance nightmare that I will have to live with, but I'm hoping that it will be smooth.

Jennifer G. said...

Oh my gosh, Aths!  I'm so glad you're okay!  I've had a few too many close calls since I've had to drive in rush hour traffic every day, but nothing close to this!  I hope the insurance/payment end of things works out in your favor.  I can't believe they didn't give him a ticket.

Athira / Aths said...

I'm so annoyed about the insurance hell. I'll know on Tuesday what the repair estimate is and what other catches there will be. I hope things go smooth and easy, but we'll see. What happened about the fender bender? I remember that you had to back up to avoid being hit by a car in front, but instead hit the Mercedes behind, but did you have to pay a whole lot?

Athira / Aths said...

You're right about the slow motion. I felt like it was the longest moment in my life. Every volume seemed to be on mute. All I remember hearing are a couple of thumps that my car made when hitting the ground but otherwise, it was very quiet.

Athira / Aths said...

Although the trooper didn't issue that guy a ticket, he did tell him that he may have to pay for the damages. Which is all well and fine. But without a ticket, it makes my claims much weaker. I just hope that things go smoothly.

Athira / Aths said...

I can't believe either that he didn't get a ticket. I've seen cops give tickets for literally no reason or flimsy reasons, and something huge as this just got dismissed? It pretty much angered me a lot. 

Helen Murdoch said...

My insurance paid for his repair and everything over $500 of mine. So, I paid about $300, which wasn't too bad

softdrink said...

Yikes! And grrrrrrrr. Glad to hear you're okay, though!!

Ti said...

What a complete ASS! That stuff really gets to me. I am so, so glad that you came out of this physically unscathed. I say physically because I know mentally, something like this hangs on for a while. At the very least, he should have been ticketed for not following the posted speed limit. 

ChewDigest said...

Thank goodness you are okay! I am sure that it is still running on a loop in your head, even today!

Athira / Aths said...

I know! But it was one helluva experience! 

Athira / Aths said...

Yeah, every once in a while, I feel overwhelmed, thinking how close it was. But it should get better after a few days. At the least, if the guy ends up paying, it will feel like some symbol of victory in my mind, and I can stop brooding over it.

Athira / Aths said...

Yeah, it was a very overwhelming experience, considering how close it was. Hopefully, in a few days, it should stop bothering me.

Athira / Aths said...

That's pretty decent. I'm glad you didn't have to pay a whole lot.

Piyush Garyali said...

It was scary. When K told me about the accident, I stood there frozen with the ghastly image of the whole thing wrapped in my head and the next thing I remember was driving to Lynchburg. I was so happy to see you and believe me you were lucky. It could have gone the wrong way and I would have felt bad for the rest of my life that it happened while you were driving to Raleigh. God bless you girl. XOXO

Lisa said...

I can't believe that guy didn't get a ticket! Clearly he had violated at least one traffic law and you had plenty of witnesses. Glad you are okay and you've certainly got to feel good about your driving abilities!

Everybookandcranny Blog said...

Wow - I'm glad everything turned out okay.  I've been in one of those split second decision situations and it's  terrifying.  You certainly have reason to vent!

Athira / Aths said...

I'm curious about what image you had. :D No, don't tell me. I think I know how horrible it might be. :) Well, I'm glad nothing worse happened.

Athira / Aths said...

I was pretty shocked too that the guy didn't get a ticket. I was literally standing there with my mouth open and thinking how this cop could just tell me that it wasn't anyone's fault. 

Athira / Aths said...

I hope I never get in one of those - it was definitely scary!