Monday, October 02, 2006

The most graceful disaster

Friday I was driving up interstate 35. I had just dropped off my youngest so she could spend a fun night with her birth mother before we move. My two oldest kids were in the back of the van. I had just inhaled something from McDonald's (I still can't remember what I had), but it was time to dive into my french fries. My Diet Coke tasted extra good that day. I remember that. We were almost home. About twenty more minutes.

Then everything slowed down.

I remember the car coming around the right side of me. It must have been an on ramp. It didn't cut me off, but I was surprised that it was just there. Right in front of me I watched it merge over and almost clip the back side of the car in the next lane ... but it moved back over. Whew. No accident today. I slowed down, though. Maybe this person was driving too fast ... I don't know.

Then it just swerved right back over ... just a few feet, but SMACK into the back corner of the car it had narrowly missed just seconds before.

That's when everything became almost poetic. I was thinking a million different things ... semi behind me, don't slam on your brakes. I never did. Throughout the next few seconds I just slowly and gracefully came to a stop.

My eyes never left the car ... SUV ... bronco ... whatever. I don't know. It was silver. I remember that it was silver. After clipping the other car, it made a sharp right turn to the right and hit the barrier on the side of the road. Yet, I don't remember hearing any crash, and it didn't seem harsh. It was just so fluid. Weird, I know, but it was really, really fluid. When I look back, my brain is playing Enya in the background. Is that twisted?

The car started rolling. Things were gracefully flying ... everywhere. I was intently watching each thing soaring through the air ... was that a person? what about that? do I see anyone inside?

Just seconds, but I thought so many things. Probably just on the second flip (but what seemed like minutes later) I saw him move through the sun roof. He was rolling forward with the car. The car kept going. I kept watching. That's when I saw him rolling out from underneath the car. He was rolling and he came to a stop just feet in front of me ... but he didn't seem to slam into the concrete. Was that really a person? It seemed too soft ... too fluid (do I keep using that word? Sorry).

I was looking at feet. There was no denying it. While I couldn't quite see a head or face ... those were shoes ... and legs ... and stomach.

Believe it or not, that's the short story. I was the first person to him ... the first person to call 911. There's a lot more. So much more.

Has anyone else ever watched it happen? I'm sure if I were in the middle of it, it would have been sharp and painful and abrupt. However, watching it made it seem so unreal.

Needless to say, I'm a mess.


Stacey said...

I'm glad YOU'RE okay, and that your precious cargo wasn't with you at the time. Is that guy okay?

I've flipped a car - it's so terrifying. I don't know what it was like for the dozen or so people that came to our rescue, but I know what it was like for me. I felt so terrified and vulnerable, and when people came to help me and my husband out of one of the most horrifying moments of our life... I still love those people, and I can remember all of their faces. I pray for them still.

CeCe said...

yikes. that's scary! Was the person still alive?

Anonymous said...

What a horrible tragedy to have to see with your own eyes. I will be praying for you and the victim.

I can't help but notice the irony of this terrible accident; that is, there are people crashing all around us everyday in this spiritual battle but our eyes fail to see what's really going on. There are bodies everywhere and many still breathing, existing. There are people crying out for help but do we listen? Do we rush to their aid and call 911? In other words, do we pray to God on their behalf and share with them what we know can save them?
your friend in prayer, paj

Anonymous said...

Oh man, Christine ((HUG)). That 35 is scary enough. (HUG)(HUG)(HUG)

Harmonia said...

Om my goodness! You and the others involved are in my thoughts and prayers. Sorry you had to go thru something like that.

Anonymous said...

How horrendous for you and the others involved! Praying for you for grace and strength to get through this.

Gayle said...

How this must have pierced you to the core!.. glad you were able to come to their aid.. I pray all is well with everyone involved.. I know you must be still shaken by it all!

paj had a very powerful, thought provoking, soul piercing word.. thanks for the reminder paj!

joyce said...


Anonymous said...

last year, I saw the same thing happen...but it was about 2:30 in the morning on the Dallas North Tollway, but it had a tragic more sombre ending. My guy did not live. He was dead at our feet when he landed. It took me awhile to get over that. But I totally get that whole fluid thing. Isn't that so interesting? I mean, everything is slow motion and seamless and nothing is loud. I totally get that.

I'm so glad that he's ok. And I'm so glad that you and the kids are ok too. Wow. Stuff like that is powerful.

Kat Curlee said...

Oh Christine...{{{{HUGS!!!!!}}}}

I've seen 2 serious wrecks and one with a man on a motorcycle being flipped off the bike after being hit by a 16-year old girl in her Daddy's Lexus on a cell phone. Dumb kid.

Praying for you, honey.