There was an accidentPosted on September 17th, 2007 after 5618 miles by Dean Croshere.
Vehicles collided on the freeway.
I wasn't directly involved. Very nearly, but I got through it.
My car's ok.
In fact, everyone is ok. There was no injury save a bruised shoulder on one driver.
That is a miracle.
He thought he was going to die.
It involved a fucking tanker truck
Lets go back. I was not feeling terribly well. Not sick, just... blah. I was already down two energy drinks and, with about an hour's drive left, considering a third. I could feel the caffeine struggling to do its job as parts of my body felt the surge of energy while others simply wanted to stop concentrating on anything. I figured that next drink may win that little battle.
I am still listening to tales of Captain Nemo's fantastical adventures under the sea. It had finally arrived at one of the interesting points (It is a really long book). Nemo was describing how he was going to get from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean in two days without crossing where Moses had walked.
While the narrator and Nemo were arguing about the logistics of speed, the distance around the Cape of Good Hope, and how this might work, the large 80's van started changing lanes.
You know the type of van. Big unwieldy thing. Not a VW. Thin brown stripes painted along the length of it. Ladder on the back.
The problem with this simple lane change maneuver?
There was a Focus in that lane.
Why couldn't the Focus just swerve out of the way?
He was pinched in by a Semi.
I pulled myself away from the Nemo's improbable situation that was likely to be solved by electricity in an era where electric conductive power was still about as magical as ion propulsion is today.
At first it seemed like the situation was going to dissolve like it normally does: start to merge, honk, swerve, correct, fret a bit, drive on. The van looked like he was going to pull away from the-
Oh wow, the blue Focus is swerving a lot. Is he going to be able to correct?
Nope. There was impact.
The Focus fell back, swerving to the right. There must have been horns blaring and tires screeching and I do remember hearing it, but all I really remember is the slow methodical voice of the reader of my book. I stopped paying attention to the Focus. My attention was on the van in front of me. It was now facing perpendicular to the direction it was going - to the direction I was going.
The moon was really low in the sky. A crescent.
It's amazing the things you notice.
I had been slowing down as the situation escalated. It was now clear it wasn't going to diffuse with a few frayed nerves. I hit the brakes hard.
I could feel the anti-lock pressing back. Every time I feel that I get a rush of relief that I bought this car.
The van collided head first into the barrier between the freeways. I swerved to the right, across the debris that was now spread across the road. The tires held, the brakes did their job. I slowed down, pulled over to the left.
Been here before.
Hit the emergency lights.
Jump over the barrier. I don't know what is going on over there.
Find out if anyone is hurt. It doesn't look like it. He's breathing. No blood.
He's ok, but the van is sticking out into the road. I walked up the road a ways. I shined my flashlight at oncoming traffic, trying to get them to move over, to get out of this lane.
A few of them got it. A few of them damn near hit the van. Like really close. Some were wedged between the van and semis.
Finally the guy in the van managed to get it started to pull it off the road. We crossed the highway to go check on everyone else.
I got their stories. The guy in the focus was spun about at one point, he thought it was all over, wedged between a van and a semi, backwards. He needed a cigarette.
Apparently there were two semis involved. I only remember one. The Focus was black. I distinctly remember it being blue.
How the hell did I lose a semi?
The moon was orange. It looked like a giant peach wedge in the sky.
But I don't remember two semis.