Near Miss

June 08, 2008

Yesterday around noon, we ran an errand to get some natural cat food at a nearby pet store. On the way we were one car shy of being in an accident.

It was all over so quickly that I really didn’t realize it was happening until afterwards.  At a traffic light controlled intersection (a main road with 4 lanes plus left-turn lanes) and a side street (bank on one side, residential and gas station on the other) we had solid green lights.  The speed limit is 45 and traffic was moving close to that. 

The mini-van in the left lane, directly in front of us, was hit by a car coming from the side street.  Both cars stopped rather quickly, and there was an explosion of glass, plastic, and metal on the road.  I was able to stop our car, thanks to the ABS braking system.  I drove around the accident scene and then stopped to go render aid.  Sibylle used her phone to try and call 911.  Several other people stopped as well.

The single occupant of the car was unhurt, and after getting over an initial daze at what had happened, seemed okay.  The husband and wife in the mini-van were a bit more beat up.  He had a large bruise forming on his wrist, and she was shaking and panting in her seat - I think the airbag deploying into her had really shaken her up.  One of the first people there was a nurse and she quickly and calmly took over aiding the woman.

After what seemed like a very long time the police showed up, and then an ambulance.  The occupants of the mini-van were taken to the hospital, while the driver of the other car waited for friends he had apparently called to arrive.  The driver of the car which had been next to the mini-van filled out an accident report for the police; since I had really only seen the ending, and not how it had started, they didn’t request one from me.

In all we where there for 40 minutes or an hour.  Long enough that I have a mild sunburn on the back of my neck and the tip of my nose.  Even though we came to a extremely rapid halt in our car neither of us was hurt.  Although, Sibylle, did experience an ocular migraine after we got home from our errand.  She looked it up online and discovered that it was possible to have a migraine in the area of the brain that interprets signals from the optic nerves, and that these could be completely painless but would cause jagged halos or crescents of light in ones vision.  After laying down for a few minutes the symptoms went away.  We are both thinking that the stress of the accident directly in front of us, and then being a part of its aftermath, on top of an already long week worrying about Nekko, was enough to trigger this migraine.

The driver of the mini-van used Sibylle’s phone to call someone, who came just as the ambulance arrived.  Later today, or perhaps tomorrow, we are thinking about calling that same number to find out how they are doing.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.