August 25, 2003

accidents Happen, So Long As They Keep Happening To Other People

I had a great idea last night. Despite sweltering temperatures hovering near 100, and despite humidity that could single-handedly keep Lenin's remains soft and pliable, I still decided to go for a run. I decided to run because I like to punish my body.

I crossed the busy road near to where I live, and I started a nice leasurely lope down the sidewalk, en route to my typical 5 mile jaunt. Just as I was about to settle in to my standard pace, I noticed a yellow Jeep Cherokee roaring up the busy road, rapidly overtaking the dark minivan in front of it. Suddenly, the dark minivan changed lanes (the road is a four lane), revealing a small car in front of it pulling into a driveway. Well, the stage was now set. I had a small car pulling into a driveway, with its ass end sticking out into the street, and a Jeep Cherokee moving at Mach 2 directly behind it.

"Hey," I thought, "I think they're gonna. . ."


The collision sounded like a cannon going off, and it looked pretty damned nasty from my point of view, so I sprinted back across the street to ensure that everyone was okay. The smaller car, loaded with four older folks, was pretty much missing its trunk after being rear-ended, and the two ladies in the back seat were brushing shattered glass from their hair. Everyone was wearing their seatbelts and, upon asking if everyone was okay, they assured me they were. On to vehicle number two.

The driver of the Jeep was dazed and bleeding from his left eye, owing to his forehead getting up close and personal with the steering wheel. Summoning my latent Red Cross first aid training, I tried to get him to sit down on the grass and not move. One thing they don't teach in first aid is how to deal with a young, know-it-all, bone headed male who refuses to fucking sit still. A quick perusal of his vehicle revealed an open 12 pack of Miller Lite. My assessment of the situation was that he was pretty much fucked.

Okay, everyone was up and around and spooked like horses during a thunderstorm. I needed a phone. The old driver of the rear-ended vehicle had one, as did the boneheaded young man bleeding from his eye. I instructed the bonehead to call 911.

"Uh, no man," he said, "I gotta call my girlfriend, because this is her car."

Jeez. Priorities.

So, the old driver used his phone to call 911, while the bonehead argued with his girlfriend about the crumpled Jeep, which had a stuck horn that was blaring in a most monotonous and annoying fashion. I noticed that the rear-ended vehicle was slowly rolling backwards back onto the busy street, prompting me to quickly slam on the parking brake.

As things settled down a bit, I took a closer look at the people involved in the accident. I was both amused and embarrased for one of the old ladies, who had a most noticeable damp spot on her pants, indicating a bladder release at some point during the collision. Or perhaps after. You can never be sure about bladder releases.

Then the circus began. Two police cars roared to the scene, as well as a fire truck and a first response vehicle. The shock and surprise on everyone's face gave way to a shaking release of relief and "it could have been so much worse." My role in the whole thing was nearing its end. I had rendered what aid I could, which was pretty much none, so now I just had to give the police a quick run-down of the accident as I saw it, which was pretty straightforward. Then, I was free to go.

I felt somewhat guilty leaving the scene after my debriefing, but there was really no more reason for me to be there. So, I went back across the street and continued with my run, which was the most sweltering hot exercise I think I've ever endured. Shit it was hot. I should have stayed at the accident and saved myself dehydration.

Posted by Ryan at August 25, 2003 10:36 AM
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