Tag Archive: accident


Stopped behind truckI don’t know if this happens with any of you. I don’t mean if you are ever stopped behind a truck, because I know most of you are – at some point – or have been in the past. But when I’m stopped behind a truck that has something strapped on at a slant, my mind wanders.

I begin to picture the straps coming loose and objects hurdling toward my car. In this case, the top few “slats” (or whatever they were) would have ended up in my chest, as close as I can determine.  And I had a feeling that the longer the light took to change, the better the chances were of that actually happening.  Which would only be true if the straps were slipping, but one never knows.

There are times on the highway when I’m passing one of those big flatbed trucks with a load of pipes approximately six inches in diameter. I get stuck beside it when traffic doesn’t move like I expected it to. Unlike the truck in the picture, not only is it two and a half times longer, but the pipes are shaking and the straps are straining. Then my mind goes into overdrive.

In both instances, the main thought that occupies my nervous mind is ” what would I do if they came loose?” Which leads very quickly to “what the hell can I do?” When the obvious answer is – not a damn thing. Which is disconcerting to me, because I drive with an awareness of what move I need to make at any moment.

I reach a point of calm panic. I can’t even enjoy the song on the radio that I like. Then the person who has been holding us up moves over.  I move on past the truck and the incident is over.  Until someone doesn’t drive like he should and the whole scene is replayed again. I consider myself lucky that none of the scenarios have come to pass. And then it occurs to me that it could still happen. Which guarantees the next time will be worse – in my mind.

Anyone else have the same sort of thing happen to you?

Peace be with you.

 

I had the misfortune a few days ago of witnessing the vehicular death of a dog. I was in the far right lane at about 9:30 p.m. A pickup truck was just barely ahead of me in the center lane. The dog suddenly bounded out of the easement between backyards, running full tilt. I’m not very good at dog breeds – particularly in headlights on a dark night – but it was a larger dog, like a Greyhound or Doberman. I had my foot on the break before the dog reached the curb. He was running so fast I barely had time to react other than slowing down. I had not even come to a full stop before he entered the center lane without breaking stride.

There seemed to be a moment when everything was deathly quiet and nothing moved – just before the contact of truck and dog. It appeared to me as if neither the dog nor the driver saw the other coming. The dog seemed to be staring straight ahead as if he were on some type of mission. I have no idea how long it actually took – it appeared in slow motion to me. I will not go into much further detail other than to say that the impact was quite loud, the dog fell quickly, and one of the truck’s tires came up off the road.

I cannot get the scene out of my head – I certainly do not want to put it into yours. I kept coasting along, not wanting to believe what I had seen. The truck kept going, but slowed down, pulling over to make a u-turn. As I continued driving I wondered if there were something I should be doing. The same thing I would feel if I had witnessed an accident between two cars.

But there was no need to be a corroborating witness. It was easy to understand what happened. I had already had a glimpse of the dog after the accident and had no desire for a closer look. Yet as the accident kept replaying in my mind, I had the insistent sense that there was something I should do. So as I continued driving with moist eyes, I prayed for the dog and his owner(s).

I had another stop that I made quickly, without looking anyone in the eye. The accident kept playing in my mind – a bizarre drive-in movie with no concession call. I am not a “real men do not cry” type of guy, yet at the same time I do my best to keep people from noticing. But by the time I walked in the door when I arrived home, I was sobbing somewhat uncontrollably. I walked straight past my suddenly confused family out the back door and paced back and forth until the sobs subsided.

I have had several dogs that died. But I did not see any of them get hit by a vehicle. Every feeling I have ever had when a pet died came rushing back in a flurry of raw emotions. Along with the inevitable flash reflections on the finality of death and our lack of control of the situation.

“For the fate of humans and the fate of animals is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and humans have no advantage over the animals; for all is vanity. All go to one place; all are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.” Ecclesiastes 3:19, 20.

So I prayed as I paced in the backyard. Then I went inside and hugged our dog. To do otherwise would indeed have been a chasing after wind.

Peace be with you.

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