I’m falling even further behind on NaNoWriMo. I had hoped to get home last night and be able to crank out a couple thousand words, but as fate would have it, I was stopped by a car accident. Not mine, thank the Force, but the car in front of me. Well, he had been in front of me at the light, we were taking the same left turn. There was a truck in front of him who apparently got confused by all the construction that’s been going on (this is the same intersection I mentioned in my other blog back in September that I wasn’t sure I wanted to ride through while they were working on the road. They’re still working on it. The job consisted of moving an ENTIRE ROAD to intersect with the one I was coming up, thereby eliminating a dangerous turn a few yards down the road. I’m sure it’ll be spiffy when it’s done) and after taking the left turn found himself driving down the median and not in the traffic lane. The guy in front of me I could tell was impatient. Young guy, probably mid-20s, shaved head, both ears pierced (yes, I could tell all this even sitting behind him in traffic) blew past the truck, and was gone into the night. He was out of sight pretty quickly, not sure how fast he was going but probably at least 60mph (it’s a 55 zone, so not totally outrageous but it was dark). By the time I reached the next treacherous intersection where one road empties into the one I was on, and cars are trying to turn into it one way or the other, the wreck had already occurred. I was probably thirty seconds behind him, it wasn’t far. The young guy and another car trying to turn onto the feeder road both had lost the passenger side front ends of their cars. The second car was completely off the road, the young guy was still in the traffic lane and that car wasn’t going anywhere.
I managed to get by the mangled car in the road, and pull up and stop ahead a few feet, then ran back to see if they were ok. The good news is, they all walked away from it, albeit bruised. The young guy’s girlfriend was with him, she was ok, but shaking. Turns out it was her grandmother’s car that she had borrowed to pick this guy (I’m guessing her boyfriend, I don’t think they were married) up from work. Her grandmother had no phone, and was babysitting the girl’s son. The young guy, who it turns out was very tall, was striding up and down yelling about people’s bad driving habits and how the guy shouldn’t have hesitated, and on and on. I got the flares out of my trunk to set out on the road and give cars coming up on this some warning.
It’s a shocking thing to come up on so quickly, you keep saying to yourself, “How did this happen?” Mistakes on both sides, I imagine, but if the young guy hadn’t been driving so fast… I dunno, just my guess. I didn’t see the actual impact so I don’t know for sure what happened. A fire truck finally arrived about 10 or 15 minutes later, so I left, but then felt bad all night that I couldn’t have done more to help. I thought about offering the kids a ride home. The girl had tried to call a friend but got no answer, and she said her grandmother doesn’t have a phone. She looked vaguely familiar, or maybe she just reminded me of someone one of my boys went to school with. I didn’t ask their names, and didn’t stick around to talk to the police since I hadn’t actually witnessed the impact. The firewoman (yes, a woman) I talked to said I didn’t need to stay. I wondered if I should have offered to go to the girl’s grandmother and let her know what happened. How involved should we get when something like this happens? I just felt bad for all of them, and for the grandmother who was now out a car. It was an old car, and if she has no phone, is she in a position to buy another car?
So anyway, by the time I got home I was in no frame of mind to work on my story. Suddenly it didn’t seem so important.