Sunday, September 26, 2004


I witnessed my first automobile accident today. I was heading south on Monroe St. and had just passed an intersection (at Sixth) when I saw a car in front of me and in the left lane come to a complete stop. At first, I was confused; I was in the right lane and saw the green car stop short and all this shrapnel fly in a cloud in front of the car. My initial thought was that a bomb had set off (from my angle, I did not see an obstruction in front of the car). It wasn't until I pulled into a parking lot onto my right and got out that I realized it was a car crash. Apparently, a white Grand Marquis had pulled out of the parking lot I was in, and the green car had hit the left back side of it.

Many cars (I think 7, including me) had stopped to see if everyone was okay. Both drivers seemed fine, but they eventually took the passenger of the green car out on a stretcher. Someone was already on the line with the police when I noticed that the green car was leaking a lot of fluid (also green) onto the street. This did not stop most people from driving past the accident in the right lane. One of the people who stopped seemed to be a retired paramedic- he was short and stout and had big, long white hair, and a huge white beard. He was, in no time, in the street talking to the passengers and seeing if they were okay. I felt a little bad for him, because when the officers arrived (close to five minutes after someone called, I believe) they kept ordering him to stay on the side of the road.

I stuck around for fifteen minutes or so, but no one approaced me for my account, so I left.

It was a very strange ordeal. Right when it happened, things did seem to slow down a little. I was mostly confused because I had not seen the car pull out into traffic, and I did not hear any squealing tires, just saw the cloud of metal explode in front of the car. I had one of those shocking moments where I just stood in awe, taking it in, while slightly disturbed that the traffic continued to flow around the scene as if nothing had happened. People had places to go, places to be.

As I drove away, I looked into my rearview mirror and saw something close to what is portrayed in so many movies, but happening right behind me. Three cop cars, an ambulance, and a firetruck all with lights spinning, flashing. Three men with gloves pushing the stretcher to the ambulance. Metal strewn across the street. Needless to say, I took extra care to pay attention to my surroundings and driving on the way home.

Friends, please be careful while driving...

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