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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Archive for August 27th, 2014

Sobering Drama

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With the arrival of cool, drier air to our region, we were able to sleep with our window open on Monday night. I must have been sleeping real well, because I didn’t hear the horrific sounds of a car crash at the intersection just south of our home at 5:08 a.m. What I did hear was the long wail of a siren at 5:13 that just kept getting louder and louder, finally stopping when it was at its loudest. To me, that meant it didn’t pass by. Wherever it stopped, it was startlingly close.

Seven minutes later, I heard multiple sirens tearing apart the early morning silence, all stopping equally close. Whatever it was, this gave the impression that it was something serious. It was time for Cyndie to get up and start preparations for her workday, and as her feet were hitting the floor, the sound of a helicopter flying incredibly low added an exclamation point to the predawn drama unfolding.

This was more than enough to rouse Delilah and she started whining to be let out of her crate. Cyndie said she could take her for a walk, but then would need to get ready to go. I took advantage of her offer and lingered in bed, listening to the helicopter idling. In minutes, the engine revved and I could see how close it really was, the lights appearing into view as the air ambulance rose up to set off on its hurried course.

I began to wonder if Cyndie decided to feed the horses early, it was taking so long for her to return. I should have guessed. When she got three-quarters of the way down our driveway, she could see how close the incident really was, and decided to walk Delilah down to check it out. The helicopter was perched in the middle of County Road N, and took off as she approached.

Her report matched what I later found published online by a local newspaper. A full-size semi truck had broadsided a car that had pulled out in front of it. Cyndie was worried about fatalities, but the paper reported ‘fair’ condition for the driver of the car. It listed the vehicle as a Mustang, but Cyndie couldn’t tell what it was by all the damage. It didn’t look like a driver could have survived in that wreck.

It was a startling, yet sobering way to start the day. In retrospect, based on the scene Cyndie described, I am glad to have not heard the sounds of the crash as it happened. That’s the kind of unsettling experience that lingers in a mind’s ear. The sirens and helicopter alone were enough to leave me a bit on edge for the rest of the day.

The incident has both of us wondering how the driver of the car could have failed to spot the threat of that oncoming truck, to pull out in front of it like that. The site lines are unobstructed, headlights at that hour would have been visible well in advance, and both drivers were in their 60s (presumably having years of driving experience).

Drive carefully out there, folks.

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Written by johnwhays

August 27, 2014 at 6:00 am