Posted on Friday, October 23, 2009 in Uncategorized
Darkness surrounded our thirty-eight degree October morning. School buses filled the streets with their diesel roar.
Damp, drizzly, dark and dreary. This morning was not ideal for much, but I was looking forward to a day to write. Nearing the coffee shop I reached my left turn lane.
Across from me awaited a school bus. Like me the driver was longing to turn. Traffic was heavy; we both waited to turn.
The bus blocked my immediate view, but I watched for all the cars to pass.
I looked for the headlights of all on oncoming traffic as they passed the crest of the overpass behind the bus. Once clear, I moved ahead.
Cautiously I crept my Corolla into the lane still looking for hidden traffic. Seeing none I began to accelerate. THEN, it appeared.
Where the vehicle came from I cannot begin to guess since I looked and did not see it a moment before.
Instantaneously I had to decide what to do.
My car was entering the lane in which the other driver drove. As slow as I was traveling my momentum carried me forward. Reverse would take too long. The choice seemed clear but at 45-50 mph and the length of a bus – I had little time.
I slammed my foot to the floor. Without slipping on the wet road the Toyota took off. I watched to my right as the car sped inches away from my car.
My four-cylinder ’94 Toyota Corolla — which had previously traveled 194,000 miles – hasn’t accelerated that quickly in as long as I can recall.
My path clear I prayed over and again: “Forgive me God for my impatience. Thank you for protecting me.” I then prayed for the other driver and eyewitnesses who were probably shook up too.
Between 1994 and 2008 every year there were between 34,000-39,000 traffic fatalities across the United States.
Those numbers are tragic, sad and consistent. Though the number of fatal crashes since 2005 is in decline I wonder why I was not one of them today. I was inexplicably close.
On the average more than one hundred people will die in highway fatalities today, why was I not one of them?
Why am I alive and someone else will die today?