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Feature: Cause and Effect
Posted by Meranda_Jade on Sunday, July 17, 2005 - 06:14 AM PST

Experiences
You never really know what it's like until it actually happens. Sure, you've seen movies and heard accounts from other people, you may have had a mild fender-bender or two... but nothing really prepares you for the experience of a full-blown car wreck.

I was sitting at the light, waiting to turn left. i was on a grocery shopping trip, a trip I had made many times uneventfully. I had made that same turn successfully over and over. I moved into the intersection just as the light turned yellow. I waited for the oncoming traffic to pass through the yellow or slow down in anticipation of the red light. I looked carefully to make sure that the traffic was stopped and thinking it safe, made the turn. It looked safe. It looked like the way was clear.

From the corner of my eye, I glimpsed movement and at that moment, time slowed down. I turned my head slightly to see the oncoming grill of a gray truck RIGHT OUTSIDE MY PASSENGER WINDOW! This is where it got really strange. I knew, but didn't believe, it was going to hit me. I know it crossed my mind to speed up or hit the brakes, neither of which would make a difference. Then it hit. I watched the frame of the car door buckle and fold into a nightmarish tangle of metal as tiny green glass blocks went flying everywhere and the car went sliding sideways.

I've had near-death type accidents before and it never ceases to amaze me when the moment of realization comes that you might not make it out of this one. There's no last minute bargaining, no hopes, no regrets. There's just a simple acceptance of fate. A feeling of "This is it." It's peaceful. Then you realize that you survived.

The car came to a stop at the curb. I looked up and saw people staring at me from the corner. I looked down and saw green glass littering the floor. I looked over and saw the incredible damage to the right side of the car. I heard the music on the radio and reached over and turned it off. I put the car into park, removed my foot from where it had fused to the brake pedal and proceeded to flip out. I don't even know what I was flipping out about. Maybe the fact that I could have died. Maybe the fact that I didn't. Definitely the fact that I had destroyed the car. Most certainly the fact that what hit me had to have had people in it who might be hurt or dead.

I saw a blonde woman coming over to the car. I had to unlock it to let her open the door. She told me I was okay, that I was just in shock and that she was calling 911. I asked about the other people, if they were okay. She said she didn't know. I think I kept asking that. She asked if there was anyone to call, and I got my cell phone out and pushed the button that would call Rogue and handed it to her, saying , "Don't scare him." She talked to him for a minute then handed the phone to me so I could tell him I was okay. By then, the paramedics had arrived and a guy was behind me, holding onto my head and telling me to keep my neck still. I said, "But I'm not hurt."
He said, "You think you're not hurt. That's the adrenaline. Once it wears off, you might hurt more than you think. You should go in the ambulance and let us take care of you."
I kept arguing with them, wanting Rogue there because I didn't feel capable of making a simple decision. Finally, I let them talk me into getting me onto a backboard. While they were taking me out of the car, Rogue showed up. He saw the damage and said, "Yeah, go in the ambulance. I'll catch up with you at the hospital."

They put me into the ambulance, alongside another person. It was a 15 year old boy who had been the passenger in the truck. I couldn't have felt worse at that moment. I didn't know how badly he'd been hurt, but I knew he must have been pretty scared. I know I was.

We got to the hospital and I was put into a room. I don't know how much time passed before Rogue showed up. I had been answering questions and had nurses poking at me and taking vitals and doing nurse things. They talked to Rogue and he made phone calls and held my hand. They took me and x-rayed my spine to make sure I didn't hurt it and took the neck brace thing off me. Then they said my spine was okay, there was nothing broken but there would be muscle pain for a while. They gave me some pain pills and sent me home.

So, for the past two days I've been taking pills that knock me out cold after half an hour in between taking care of business that I was needed for. Rogue took care of most of it. I had to go make a statement at the police station and discovered that they'd cited me for failure to yield the right of way. Rogue went to the tow yard to get things out of the car and ran into the mother of the boy who had been driving the truck. she had taken her other kids to see my car and give them a lecture about seatbelts and auto safety. She told Rogue that the boys who had been in the truck were fine, just shaken up a bit. The boy who had been driving had only had his liscence for three months. She was really nice about the whole thing. It was a huge relief to me to know that those boys weren't hurt.

There are some things that happen to make you re-evaluate your life a little bit and this, for me, was one of those things. It was just dumb luck that nobody was hurt in this incident. Everything you do can have an impact on yourself and other people. Even a simple act like turning at a light.




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Cause and Effect | Login/Create an account | 6 Comments
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Re: Cause and Effect
by bettie_x (strangersangel@hotmail.com)
on Jul 17, 2005 - 03:55 PM
(User info | Send a Message) http://bettie_x.tripod.com/
That is some rough shit. I've been in one fenderbender (literally) and one accident of the type you just described, and there is no way to explain the experience correctly in words. I was at a T intersection on a back road making a right turn and after checking left, right, left and right again I turned as a school bus was slowing down with lights and signs and all the hooplah in the opposite lane of the road I was turning onto. All was clear, the bus wasn't fully stopped and as I turned right I got hit head on by a minivan who was PASSING the stopping school bus at the intersection doing 50mph (25 over the limit). I do remember much as you do, just all clear and then THERE IT IS and that moment of " ..........". Mine was more of a vacant brain feeling, I did manage an "oh fuck" and throw my arm up before my airbag deployed (which smashed my arm. It was purple and black and blue and green for two months) and the last thing I remember seeing is the front end of the van going ON TOP of the hood of my car before it spun me backwards about three times and into a stopsign.

I, too, in the post collision stun turned off my radio. I wonder how many people do that, it's sort of an odd thing to think to do.

The people you were involved with were at least nice, the kid that hit me was the 17 year old dishwasher named Patrick at the restaurant I worked at, who is a complete and total dipshit, who had NO liscence and who's parents didn't know he had taken their car. I got our with my smashed arm, bloody nose, and blackening eye and he had the nerve to say "look who hit me" after I asked him if he was ok. I was held partially at fault for just being there. Nice huh?
It totalled my car and put me out of work for a week, but nobody else was hurt.

I did get my bit of revenge when the local papers printed that he was a 17 year old girl and everyone at work started asking "Patricia" to autograph their newspapers.

I'm glad you're ok, and that the kids in the other car were ok. It's a very scary scary thing to go through, but what can't ever be explained in words to the understanding of others is that tangible pause before the shit hits the fan, where "doing something" isn't feasable, and all you can do in that stretched out time phase is sit, and watch it come down on you.


Re: Cause and Effect
by MystryssRavynDarque (amanda-at-vibechild-dot-com)
on Jul 18, 2005 - 12:06 PM
(User info | Send a Message) http://kauai.vibechild.com/~amanda/
I've only really been in a car during a fender bender a few years back.

My dad was driving and the people in front of us were going to turn left but they didn't use their blinker. They stopped all of a sudden on a very narrow road and my dad had to stop suddenly too. The people behind us were too close and my dad said "Oh shit they're going to hit" and he let off the brake and they hit us.

Yup, it definitely wasn't that bad.

Glad you were alright Meranda_Jade.


Re: Cause and Effect
by Schizo (Aranea@Spidersdance.com)
on Jul 19, 2005 - 02:16 AM
(User info | Send a Message) http://
The closest to a "real" accident I've had was 3 years ago with "the amazing force-field car". Funny thing was, even though the other car was literally sailing over our car, I don't think it really crossed my mind that anyone might get hurt. I guess I was just too amazed that the thing actually left the ground just when it was about to hit us. It was only afterwards, when we realized that it had flown right over the part of the car that my step-daughter was sitting in, that we started to feel how close it had been.

That was certainly a wierd one.

But anyway, I'm so glad you're OK, Meranda.


Re: Cause and Effect
by Kira (mod_complex-at-hotmail.com)
on Jul 19, 2005 - 08:35 AM
(User info | Send a Message)
:: hugs ::

I'm so glad you are all ok. I had a close call on 2 wheels last weekend, so I know exactly what you mean by that "this is it" feeling.

Here's to a quick recovery...


Re: Cause and Effect
by dead-cell (freaksworth01@netscape.net)
on Jul 19, 2005 - 09:59 AM
(User info | Send a Message)
I had noticed you were missing from the site. I'm sorry to read that you were in a car accident, but glad to know everyone is alright more or less. Taking those pills sucks and of course losing a means of transportation. You know my car accident story A.K.A. why I missed Shmengfest New Orleans. Anyway I hope you feel better soon; make sure Rogue gives you plenty back rubbs (if he dosen't already).


Re: Cause and Effect
by valerian (-)
on Oct 08, 2005 - 11:45 PM
(User info | Send a Message) http://valerian.araneum.ca
The most terrifying thing, in my mind, is that split second that you realize that the collision is coming and there is just not enough time for you to do anything to stop what's going to happen. You can see exactly what's coming, and you feel utterly helpless.

I have experienced that twice now, seeing the vehicle coming and knowing there is nothing more I can do but hope I make it out alive. In fact in both situations, I found myself screaming "NOOOOOO!!!" in pure frustration. One accident was caused by something so stupid on the other driver's part, that once we had smashed together, I got out of the car and started kicking and punching the nearby fence because I was so angry at the stupid thing they had done (better the fence than their face). I am sad to say that in that one instance, whether or not they were OK had not crossed my mind for several minutes. Looking back, that was terribly selfish of me. But given the amount of driving that I did at that time, and the amount of accidents I had seen as the result of someone just not looking, or trying to race a light, had made me somewhat bitter. But thankfully, like in your case, we were both OK. Pure dumb luck, I think.

It has since taught me that I would much rather be 2 minutes late for work, and face the lecture of a cranky boss, than rush a traffic light and risk killing someone, and carrying that guilt with me the rest of my life. I find that this has helped my stress level, when driving, a great deal.


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