This Holiday Season I have many reasons to consider myself lucky.
Well, at least, this week. Earlier this week I was nearly involved in an absolutely terrifying car accident. While merging from one freeway to another, the car in front of me (which was a rear-wheel drive old school sports car) was going too fast, and the car behind me was going too fast.
Trouble ensued. Let’s start at the beginning.
I’m driving along, well aware that I need to get in the next lane over to make the next exit. The jerk behind me (sports car) zipped on past and switched to the lane I was eyeing, with another jerk (the rear car) zipping on through.
Ok, the roads were WET that morning, but I know that you can SLIDE on WET asphault. So I get over, behind the sports car and in front of the rear car. The rear car proceeds to get all up ons, and I’m like, whatever, I needed to be over here. I take the ramp at 10 under the speed limit, because I know the end of this ramp is an abrupt turn, and not to be taken lightly (the last car accident I saw was at the same place, the guy and his passenger were OK though.)
So there I am, taking the ramp slower, the guy behind me is intentionally closing the gap between us.
It was then that I knew that shit was going to go down. I don’t know how I knew, but I knew, and time literally slowed down.
The sports car hits the end of the onramp, where he’s supposed to merge in to traffic and just slides right in to the other lane, hitting the other car at 30+ mph. I saw it all happen and started to slow down. No sooner did I touch my brakes than I look in my rear view and see the stupid ass jerk behind me SLAM his brakes, causing his car to slide.
Ok, I need to be careful about that, my brain says, and I look forward again, the sports car has ricochetted off the car in the other lane and both of them are leaving the freeway. I tap my brakes long enough to let the sports car and his target clear the freeway and the jerk behind me is still a slidin’ away towards my bumper, so as soon as I can tell the right side of my car is in the clear, I take my foot off the brakes and coast on past the wreckage.
What happens next is embarrassing. EVERYONE has left the freeway, pretty much. Cars that were hit, cars that weren’t hit are leaving to avoid being hit. There was a highway patrolman right there, not more than 30 feet from the accident, so my mind says, oh, he’s got it and I drive off, I was so absolutely pumped with adrenaline that it didn’t occur to me til much later (maybe 20 minutes) that I should have stopped, and then when the adrenaline left, I sort felt sick.
I feel bad about what happened, I don’t feel as though it was my fault in the least, because the situation could have been a lot worse for everyone involved, had I not taken the onramp as slow as I did.
Anyway, we didn’t get the house we wanted, but we did start the process to get a killer loan for an as-yet unspecified house.
I will mourn for the house that almost was.