Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Today as I was headed to Clarksville to do a few inspections, I witnessed a wreck. I was merging on to the interstate and a lady decided she needed to move over. She really didn't as I saw her and was planning on falling in behind her, but she did, nonetheless.

Unfortunately, though, she didn't see the van in the lane beside her. I suspect he was in her blind spot, but her rear bumper clipped his front bumper. Since he was in a big van and knew that she was there -- you could tell he did -- he managed to move over as far as he could and try to keep out of her way. When she clipped his bumper though, she tried to correct and slammed her backside into a guard rail, began a spin that took her in front of me. I'm totally freaking out and trying to figure out how to 1) get out of her way 2) stay out of the van's way, 3) pray that she is not going to die right in front of me. She spun all the way across the interstate and then into the grass where she flipped either one or two times. I was so very freaked out at this point, I couldn't swear one way or the other because as she flipped, I could see her inside the car flopping around as the car flipped right in front of me.

I managed to get over to the side of the road and jump out of the truck (along with about 100 other people, I think). I tried calling 911, but I was shaking so badly I couldn't make the phone work. By the time I got through, someone else had already called.

Ironically (and blessedly) the woman climbed out of the car (which was on it's side, driver's side up) and only had a few scratches on her elbow.

I stood there with my hands visibly shaking for a good 15-20 minutes while the police, EMS and fire department showed up and asked questions and took statements. The woman was from out of town and was only worried because she was driving her daughter's car.

It just made me realize how very quickly something terrible can happen and the irony of how even the small choices we make in our lives can have a huge impact in our lives and the lives of others. Had I not stopped to get a drink, I would not have been there at that time and maybe the accident would not have happened. The police officer assured me (after taking mine and several other witnesses' statements) that it was totally not my fault and that I would only be listed as a witness, but the reality to me is that she was merging over because I was getting on the interstate. I am so thankful she was not hurt, I was not hurt and the people in and driving the van were not hurt. It could have been much worse, I know. If you have a chance tonight, say a prayer for the woman. I hope she is truly ok.

And above all, please, remember to wear your seatbelts every single time you get in your car.

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