All three tales you are about to read are 100% true.

Once in my life, I have been witness to what happens when someone did something blindingly stupid, and probably lost their life for it. On my way to work about 4 years ago, at an intersection that involves some ill-timed stoplights and a freeway underpass (leaving cross traffic a good 150 feet or so to get up to speed before the second intersection), I watched a small car try to run a red light.

Said small car was promptly compacted to probably 1/3 its former size by the dual impact of a Dodge Ram and a Ford F-250, both of which hit it on the drivers’ side. Said small car, after these impacts, flew forward and wrapped its remaining mass (minus almost all the glass and at least one door and a wheel) around the post for the traffic lights.

Twice in my life, I have been fortunate enough to have blind cosmic luck save my life.

The first time was in the first car I ever owned. It was a huge boat of a car, not that that mattered. It was probably about 10 at night, and I was on my way home from something I forget what. I’d just filled up at a gas station, and was getting ready to pull out to drive home when the car stalled. Half a second later, while I was trying to restart it, an 18-wheel Semi with two trailers attached to it blew right past my front bumper at probably double the posted speed limit of 45.

The second time was this morning; I was coming through Colosse’s downtown area (the freeways were all messed up) on the edge, to get to work. Stopped at a four-way intersection, checked both ways… clear. Hit the gas, let back on the clutch, and realized I’d forgotten to shift back to first gear.

While I was shifting, a car came down the road, again obviously speeding, and blew right through the intersection, right through the place where my drivers’ side door probably would have been.

I’m alive. My nerves are shot, and there’s this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that something or someone is REALLY watching out for me… but I’m alive to tell the tale, which is probably more than I could say had either event not happened, and it’s probably more than I can say of the person who ran the red light in my first tale.

Category: Road

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3 Responses to Fortunate to be alive

  1. Spungen says:

    Wow, sounds like quite a rush! 😉 I’m glad you’re OK.

    Re that small car, sometimes it’s surprising which traffic accidents cause deaths. It’s not always the spectacular ones you’d think, and often the spectacular ones aren’t as bad as you’d think from looking at them.

  2. Webmaster says:


    Re: the small car, in this case, were the driver to still have been alive, they too would likely have been compacted to much less space than they normally took up. Plus, there were no signs of airbags (not that they would have helped too terribly much against something the size of a Dodge Ram caving in the driver-side door).

    Unsurprisingly, the Ram and the F-250 – at least externally – didn’t look like they needed much more than a new bumper and perhaps some work to bang their front panels back a bit. Their hoods didn’t even crumple.

  3. Barry says:

    I had a similar experience in death delayed several years ago. Or rather, death deferred.

    I was waiting to turn left at a fairly busy intersection. The direction I was headed was fairly level, but the oncoming traffic was coming down a big hill. Having driven that hill before, I am personally acquainted with how you can pick up a good head of steam without realizing it…

    There were at least three cars in the turn lane waiting our turn when the light turned yellow – the guy in front of me, me, and the guy a bit behind me (I use “guy” loosely because I have no idea if they were male or female). The guy in front of me turned left across oncoming traffic, then I – gaugeing my success to whether I could make it through before the light turned red – followed the first guy through on the left turn. As I went through the intersection, I noticed a car coming down the hill at a fairly high rate of speed. I knew I was going to miss him easily, so I just barely noticed him as the light turned red just as I made it on the other road.

    I drove for a twenty/thirty feet or so and heard a crash behind me – looking in my rear view mirror, I saw the guy that was behind me in line to turn left had braved the yellow as well, and had been broadsided by the car coming toward him down the hill. I was shellshocked for several seconds and drove on for a bit before I really realized what had happened.

    I know it wasn’t my fault, since I didn’t make the guy behind me brave the yellow and the oncoming traffic – but I know that if I had not turned left on yellow (like I probably should have done), the guy behind me wouldn’t have been able to turn left at all and nothing would have happened. The oncoming car would’ve either stopped at the light, or continued on through unimpeded.

    I looked in the paper and listened to the news but never heard a story of a fatal accident at that intersection, so I’m assuming no one was killed or seriously injured. But it still shakes me to think how my actions, however innocent, could’ve prevented a bad accident.

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