On Thursday afternoons, my oldest (Addie) is in gymnastics. She does her thing while the baby and I watch from the "viewing room" (Finn is pictured left - from Thursday's session). Generally, we make a post-class visit to Toys "R" Us (an unofficial tradition that just kinda happened), but this week was different. The girls were tired, so we headed straight home. Had we gone with our original plan, we'd never have witnessed what we did.
So there we were... sitting as the second car back at a busy intersection. I looked down for just a second, and that's when it happened... a massive, metallic BOOM! I looked up, and like THE MATRIX, "bullet-time" kicked in and time slowed down as what happened in seconds felt like minutes. At that instant, a semi-truck collided with a small car... thankfully hitting the unoccupied passenger side. From what I could tell, it appeared that the southbound car made a left turn right in front of the northbound semi. The "boom" was a combination of direct impact and the four airbags of the car going off at once and blowing out some of the windows. The car, along with an array of debris were headed right for us. This is where "leaving space" between cars while stopped is important...
The car slammed into the truck in front of us, pushing it back a few feet. I have an overly-cautious habit of leaving a pretty good gap between my car and the vehicle in front of me. It paid off, because all said and done, the action stopped just two feet from my front bumper. I get MASSIVELY irritated when other drivers ride my ass or pull up too close at stop lights. This, my friends, is why you don't do that.
My girls were pretty unphased by the whole affair, so I told them I was getting out for just a moment, and that I'd be right back. I checked on the other drivers (the young girl who got the worst of it was balling and already being comforted by someone else), but it appeared no major injuries were suffered by anyone. The guy in front of me was startled (and said he didn't see it happen until it hit him), the semi took on a mangled bumper (possibly some internal damage), and the small car was a total loss. The cops were there within three minutes, and an ambulance that was already nearby checked on us, too as they weren't sure if we were moving pre-accident and had to stop or not. We were all good... but I was indeed a bit shaken.
For that brief moment, as a mess of mangled metal and plastic were headed in our direction... I feared for the safety of my daughters.
Yet another example this week on how much a second can change everything... wrong place, wrong time.
But we were safe.
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