Accidents are a funny thing. They happen in an instant. They can take a couple hours to clean up. And the aftermath can be minutes to hours to years.
This is my car.
|Goodbye, Sweet Car.|
DON'T WORRY!! Everyone is ok.
After a trip to Target, we were on our way home when I came to an intersection where there are two consecutive lights. I was stopped at the first and when I started to move, I saw a car in the opposite turning lane ahead of me. She had her turn signal on and was inching into my turning lane. I stopped with a car length, or two, ahead of me, trying to figure out if this was someone lost attempting a u-turn. Suddenly, she accelerated, getting right in my lane and hitting me head on.
This is where the seconds feel like hours and milliseconds all at the same time. All I could see was her deployed airbag and thinking that would stop the car, I hoped it would all be over quickly. But, I was wrong. She continued to accelerate and pushed me right into the car behind me, giving my kids and I a double jolt from her hit and then my hit backwards.
A million decisions floated in front of me in flashes. My foot was on the brake and she was still pushing. Foot on the gas, she's still pushing. Put in park...the car says NO. I couldn't change the gears. With both kids in the car, it was either let her keep pushing me, or pull away. I took a quick look behind me and turned the wheel to peel away from her bumper.
By the time all this has happened, the man in the car behind me was now reaching for her door trying to get it open. And with my car out of the way, her car sped off down the street. I watched in disbelief at her car racing down the street and not even taking out another car. And even more shocked that the man went sprinting down the street after her yelling, "Stop that car!!" By the actions of the driver, we knew it wasn't a typical accident. Something very wrong was occurring.
When I turned back around, my daughter was crying, my son was frozen and confused, and our car was surrounded by people. I saw a woman in scrubs, who later identified herself as a nurse, talking to my daughter and checking for injuries. Two more girls next to us assured us they were certified in First Aid if we needed help. Another woman and a man on my side of the car asking if we were okay and if we needed to make calls. By this time, it was near impossible to hear the 911 operator on my phone as I tried to tell him what was going on.
Amazingly, our former neighbor was at the intersection and, once the kids were checked out, took them to her house for water ice while I stayed at the scene. Once she was gone, I had a moment to breathe and almost lost it, but then realized I still had to deal with paperwork and police.
The police officer was patient, kind and even funny. The tow truck driver, calm and helpful. Every person I came in contact with today has helped restore my faith in humanity.
Some days, it seems like people are just jerks. They can be selfish, greedy and rude. But then there are days like today. When I'm already stressed and then a poorly-timed disaster happens, all of these people show me that people can still be wonderful, helpful and generous.
I would like to extend a deeply felt thank you to ALL of the people that were at that intersection today. Especially to Melissa Hellman, a complete stranger, who was not involved in the accident, but pulled over and stayed with me the entire time. Someone who I have never met stood there and kept me calm and occupied, and even made sure I had a ride before she left. Please check out her blog The Savings Wife and let her know how awesome she is!
*It turns out the woman who hit us MAY have been having a seizure. After getting by my car, she hit a pole at a very high speed causing a power outage. I know she was taken to a local hospital, but let's hope she's recovering and not seriously injured. If you are interested in finding out more, you can go to our local paper, The Reporter, for updates.