the accident

Yesterday afternoon I was driving, singing along loudly about elephants and llamas who wear pajamas when I saw a black Ford F-150 come from the left side, looking like it was going to cut me off. All of a sudden it hit me, causing my car to swerve, then I was hit again. The world spun around us, then when we finally came to a rest, still on the freeway, my brain was still in motion. The truck was driving off and finally pulled over on the left side of the freeway. In those first nanoseconds, I thought, it’s okay if he drives off, if he never comes back. I need to check on the kids. I jumped out and ran out to check on Nathan who was crying hysterically. I flung the door open, rubbed his head, surveyed him, padded him down in case–I don’t know–he broke something? Hit his head? Lost consciousness?

“Are you okay!” I asked him. He nodded but continued to cry. TJ was fine, he craned his head and smiled at me. Cars drove around us, their tires crunching over the glass left behind. These cars were full of looky-loos gawking at the panicking mom with the two kids.

I went back to my side and tried to find my phone which somehow disappeared, just like that commercial where in an accident, your phone enters some vortex mid-air. I found it under the seat. My hands were shaking, I could barely take that picture above.

The other driver tapped on my window. I got out. She asked if I was okay and I said yes, we were okay. She was okay. She had a passenger with her and they said they had seen the whole incident. They saw him drive into my lane and hit me. I asked them if they were sure, if they really saw it. They nodded. The woman called 911 while I called Mike at home to tell him that he needed to get us. We talked more over the roar of the cars passing us, more about what happened, repeating the incident to each other.

The cop finally came and first drove over to the the guy who was further up, a couple hundred feet away on the other side of the freeway. Finally, the cop went in reverse, his lights on, and drove backwards on the side of the road until he could get back into traffic and reach the two of us.

The officer got out and asked if we were okay. He then said that we should get our cars out. She could still drive hers but mine was stuck. The right wheel was dented in and wouldn’t budge when I had tried to move it earlier. He directed me to get into the car and that he would push me with his car to get us out of traffic (we were still in the lane). Great! Another car to hit me, I thought. Fortunately, it was very smooth and the road was slick enough that I just skidded forward.

I could see the guy across the road. I wanted to mean mug him, yell at him. Throw something toward him. But I saw that he had kids in his car. A blonde girl peered out the window. I looked away.

Eventually he drove across the way so our cars were lined up on the side. We gave our insurance cards, licenses and registration papers to the officer and returned to our cars. I heard the driver talk to the officer, saying something about fishtailing. He stopped at my window and said, “I’m sorry. I just lost it.”

I didn’t reply, just nodded my head. I didn’t know how to respond to him so I didn’t say anything.

Mike finally showed up. I relayed everything to him. I was still keeping it together. I didn’t want to freak out in front of Nathan or TJ, moreso Nathan because he gets so rattled easily. I called a tow truck. I called the insurance company. The officer gave us a paper that listed the information of the other drivers. The truck driver didn’t have his insurance card on him, but I heard him say which insurance it was. (This is the part I hope doesn’t become a nightmare.)

All the other drivers left. When the tow truck driver came, we moved as much as we could into my tiny car. We were to meet the driver near their lot which just so happened to be in Mike’s old neighborhood. We pulled into a 7-11 and I took Nathan out because he had cried that he needed to go to a bathroom and during this whole time, he held it in. My poor baby.

I took Nathan inside and I asked if there was a public restroom. She said if it was for him, then it was okay. I ushered Nathan into the restroom. When we emerged, I thanked her again and tried to explain we had just gotten to an accident and my kids were with us.

She pointed to Mike who was standing outside. “I recognize your husband. Are you the SECOND WIFE?”

“Uhhh..Yeah? But I’m number one.”

She didn’t laugh. She continued to study my face and said. “I remember they used to live here. She was old…And you are young.”

Who knew 7-11 owners were so perspective! They should change the name to 20/20!

She then said, “Yeah they built a condo where they lived. Do you have pictures of their old place?”

I shook my head. No, I do not have pictures of the house my husband lived in with his ex-wife. I don’t really keep that kind of record and hey, did you hear the part about how we JUST GOT INTO AN ACCIDENT?!

We left and waited for the tow guy. They called and said our insurance had directed our car to another lot for the inspector to come by in the morning. So we drove home and Mike dropped TJ and me off and then took Nathan to the pool because we had promised him.

The funny thing about accidents is that I always read about them in the newspaper and scan for the time and place it happened. I think, that couldn’t happen to me. That accident happened on the otherside of town at 9 pm. I would be home at that time. But this happened on a Sunday afternoon and it happened to me. We are so lucky that it wasn’t worse, that no one was hurt. No one died. I can replace cars and car seats, but not my family. That was one of the most terrifying moments of my life, the impact, the spinning, the disorientation and the panic. Now I’m in the shock of what
happened and the terror of what could have been.

My back and legs feel really sore this morning and everything that bends also aches. But Nathan and TJ seem unaffected. They’re smiling and laughing and I would rather be without a car than be without those two.

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Comments

  1. Man Mona, I’ve been thinking about you guys all day. I hope the anxiety subsides quickly and the aches as well. Thank the Lord you and the boys are ok!

  2. I am so relieved you all are OK, sigh. Maybe take a nice long epsom salt bath with your book šŸ™‚

  3. Mona, I’m tearing up. I am so glad you and the kids are safe. And as I’m tearing up, you still manage to make me laugh (lmao @ 20/20!). I just want to give you and the kids a great big bear hug.

  4. I’m so glad you’re okay, SO GLAD. And I wouldn’t have known what to say to that guy either.

  5. Typelittlea says:

    So scary! Glad everyone is all right. Stupid asshole driver!

  6. That is SO SCARY! I’m so glad you and the kids were ok.

  7. Sweet Jebus!! I am so glad you and the boys are okay. My husband was in two accidents (both caused by other drivers) that nearly totaled our vehicles. In one accident, the whole insurance thing was handled like a dream but the other…it’s ongoing with no end in sight. I hope you don’t have to deal with that.

  8. I am so glad that you’re all okay! How scary!!!

  9. So glad you’re okay! You know, I love Seattle more than any other US city, but I am absolutely terrified to drive here. I’ve never seen tailgating, rapid lane changing, reckless driving in the rain and road rage like this anywhere else. Since we moved here in 2003, we’ve a) had our hood smashed by tools that flew out of a landscaping truck (which then tried to flee the scene) at 70 mph on I-405, b) been rear-ended at a stoplight by a full Metro Transit bus whose driver got out, checked the damage (none) and simply drove off without saying a word, c) had a car totalled by a nearly blind old woman who ran a red light and t-boned the driver’s side (I was driving and pregnant), and been rear-ended enough to need a trip to the collision repair shop another handful of times. It’s insane. I want the monorail to come to Woodinville so I never need to drive again.

  10. That sucks all over! I’m really glad you were all okay though.

    I’ve been in a couple of bad wrecks and they always stuck with me for a bit. I hope you guys can settle quickly and put it all behind you.

    Also, how bizarre about the 7-11 lady!

  11. We were on the freeway on Sunday and I saw an AWFUL accident and then I saw your tweet later and I was VERY WORRIED. But I think I saw an earlier one (with deployed airbags and ambulances – GAH) and I am VERY RELIEVED. I would be shaking still. Thinking of all of you. And turning up my nose at 7-11 lady. SHEESH!

  12. Oh, Mona. My heart was in my throat the whole time. I am SO GLAD that you’re OK. And that the kids are OK.

    Hugs, friend.

  13. Mona, I wanted to give you some advice. Whenever I go through something mega-scary, I have the ‘what if’ nightmares. What if I had gotten stuck in that river?? What if I hadn’t been rescued?”

    I had to learn this behavior or being really strict with myself and my thoughts. Whenever I had these what if thoughts I’d say to myself, in a very commanding voice: BUT IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. SO STOP THINKING ABOUT IT.

    then I’d force myself to think of something else.

    I wanted to tell you that in case you start to have scary thoughts after the shock has worn off. I’m so sorry girl, for the fear and the pain in the buttness this has caused you. These experiences make us wiser.

    Thanking the universe that you and the boys are okay (and I love little resilient TJ and his big smile. Awesome)

    xoxo
    melina

  14. That sounds incredibly scary! Thank goodness everyone involved is all right.

  15. I’m so glad you guys are OK. What a scary thing! I wouldn’t have known what to say to that guy either, but I’m sure whatever I would’ve said wouldn’t have been nice or forgiving. You held it together admirably.

  16. Holy COW mona. I’m so, so glad you were ok. Was this the WSF? I-5? Good golly. *hugs*

    (and the 7-11 lady can kiss my fat white butt)

  17. I always hate when people leave comments about how something made them cry but that last bit, when you talk about what could have happened, made me cry. Can I claim adoption hormones like people claim pregnancy hormones?

    I’m so glad you and the boys are okay.

  18. Ack! Glad everyone is OK after the accident.

  19. So so glad everyone is okay after that!

  20. Yikes Mona! My worst nightmare indeed (I was rear-ended last summer in White Center, which did significant damage to my Subaru, but luckily Dexy was NOT in the car w/ me at the time). I’m so glad to hear your boys are okay. Hope the insurance thing goes smoothly. And most of all, you’re in my thoughts mama!

  21. I’m glad you’re all ok! It sounds like you reacted really well. After I was in a big car accident, I was shaken for days, but it does get better.

    Why does 7-11 lady want to see pictures of your husband’s old condo? That is super weird. Even if you had pictures, you probably wouldn’t carry them around with you just in case a random cashier asked to see them.

  22. Wow–that’s scary. Glad you’re OK. Hope you feel better soon.

  23. Happy you’re Okay…

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