Friday the 13th has struck
First of all, I am alright, just some bumps and bruises. Now for the story.
Setting the Scene
It was a dark and dreary Friday the 13th, not really, but it sets the mood, and I was on my way to work at a little after 7 travelling a well traveled street in my hometown. The street is a four lane with no center turning lanes. Traffic was heavy on account of parents ferrying their clones and clonettes to one of the local middle schools that bounds this street. Occupying the inside lane was little ole’ me in my nice (read: nice to me) Chevy Cobalt, proudly flying my new geek stickers in the back windshield. Minutes away from work, I was cruising along the flow of traffic, an SUV to the right of me began to slow and turn onto a side street that leads to the previously mentioned middle school. That’s when it happened.
The second SUV, the bringer of curses (note: I am not saying the driver was a bringer of curses and I am neither accusing nor abdicating the driver of any responsibility outside of the fact that they were cited for the incident while I was not. I am not going to air my grievances here, that is what Festivus is for. Continuing…)
The SUV of curses decided it would be a good time to turn left in front of me while I was going straight. Adreneline coursed through my veins as I went into superhero mode. Time slowed, threats became real and a quick, instinctual evaluation told me that my best course of action was to slam on the breaks and veer left towards the oncoming traffic lane (there was no traffic oncoming at the time).
Microseconds before the impact, a few things ran through my mind not necessarily in the following order:
- I really liked this car!
- I don’t want to buy a new Ubuntu Euro Style sticker!
- At least I don’t have to worry about my appointment tomorrow to get the slow leak in the tire taken care of and the oil changed.
Some of those were probably post factual thoughts well after the accident, but the first one definitely did run through my mind at the moment of impact.
The impact was nothing like I expected; I was not jolted and jarred the way I thought I would be, the airbag did not hit my face or chest like I thought it would and I appeared relatively unscathed. I got out of the car and I was in shock.
Adrenaline was receding from my body and refusing to work anymore. In my dazed state people asked me if I was ok and I told them I was. The driver of the Bringer of Curses came up to me to make sure I was alright and apologized admitting fault. I was trying to remain calm about the situation and told the driver that I was but I had no desire to talk to them at this point, maybe later after all of this is settled, but I was understandably upset about the situation. I called 911
I must have still been in shock because I don’t remember much of the conversation with 911 except for the fact I told them that I was in an accident, gave them the location a description of the vehicles, and the fact that my airbags deployed; for some reason, this detail seemed extremely important to tell them but I don’t know why.
The Waiting is the Hardest Part… Thanks Tom Petty
I stood on the sidewalk for a short while until the police arrived. It was not until after they arrived on scene that I began coming out of my shock. Details are a little more clear after that point. I tried to call my wife but there was no answer so I left a message. I asked the officer if any of this was my fault to which he told me that they don’t determine fault, but that the other driver, the driver of the Bringer of Curses had been cited for failure to yield. I watched as they measured the distance of my skid marks (the ones on the street, not in my underwear). It was then that I noticed that mine were the only skid marks, the Bringer of Curses had apparently hit me at full acceleration. Perhaps it was distraction, perhaps the last remnants of shock, I did not mention this to any of the officers.
I watched as they towed my favorite car away, that is when my wife called. She was understandably upset but I assured her that I was ok and that the officer was going to give me a ride home. It took a little bit of convincing but eventually she seemed to agree.
On the way home, I talked with the officer for a while, he was a really nice guy, been with KPD for five years. I told him of the time in a previous life when I was dispatcher and 911 operator and that my bachelor’s degree was actually in Criminal Justice. He spoke of his internship with the Omaha Police Department and the air unit which he described as a blast. Side note: I was accepted to do an internship with OPD but had to turn it down and write a thesis instead because of my previously mentioned job as a dispatcher/911 operator.
Once the officer dropped me off, my wife thanked him for bringing me home in a tone that sounded like a mother thanking an officer for bringing home her drunk son. (No, I was not drunk at the time of the crash, I know some of you may think that after the previous sentence). We shook hands, that’s when I noticed the burn on my left wrist and my brand new Xpanxion fleece jacket (note to self: Look into getting a new one). The officer said that that was common after an airbag deployment because it is deployed via an explosion and the vent in the bag opens on the left side of the bag.
My wife gave me a hug in the drive and we walked into the house. The bruises began to hurt and I took a nap.
RIP Chevy Cobalt 0 to 133354
The next morning, we went to retrieve my belongings from the car and really noticed the damage. The SUV hit me hard, we couldn’t even open the passenger side door and somehow, the back of the hood on the passenger side was bent up at a 90 degree angle, who knows what kind of devilry caused that.
The current status of things as of now is that I am waiting for a rental vehicle until the insurance is all settled and I am in a new ride. Until them, I am chilling and resting my weary, bruised and burned bones.
I don’t really believe in curses and Friday the 13th is just one of 365.25 days out of the year that this could have happened. I am going to make the best of this and not dwell on the negative, for a while now I have come to the conclusion that things happen for reasons and I would not be where I am at now if things haven’t aligned in certain ways throughout my life. I just need to sit back, relax and wait to see how this will positively impact my life.