RIP, Bionic Ion
March 2006 – August, 2009
So today I’m driving home for lunch, a bad gas-wasteful habit I’ve indulged frequently of late, for once not on my phone, not playing with the mp3 player that Mike swears will be the vehicular death of me, tooling down 35 eastbound at not too great a speed. I’m in the left lane, and right at the section before Smithville where the right lane ends and the three merge into two, some dude (okay, semi-reasonable assumption, coulda been a woman, I totally didn’t see the driver at all and very little of the actual vehicle) hauling a flat bed trailer full of lawnmowers and landscaping equipment jerks over into my lane, putting the lawnmowers on a direct path with my windshield. I slam the breaks, perhaps try to hit the horn, hoping he’ll jerk back and not force me….nope, looks like it’s me and the guardrail. So I hit it, hard, with the driver’s side front end. But not hard enough to deploy the airbag. My head jerks around as the car three-sixties…I think I hit the guardrail again with the passenger side front end. Something caused the spin to totally reverse direction, and I doubt it was me; I think I went at least another 180 degrees, as I lost all composure to remember to turn the wheel INTO the spin/skid (or does that only work on ice or something? Useless to me with adrenaline like that). End up lengthwise across the two lanes of traffic facing the right shoulder. Thankfully, thankfully, the traffic behind me was able to avoid me. I shakingly think to track the landscaping truck…it’s heading up the exit and turning right. No brake lights. Gone. Dial 911. Spit out the closest exit’s street name rather than the highway for my location, correct myself. Dispatcher says she’ll call Dayton PD for me.
Grip the wheel. Focus. People are trying to get around me, so I can’t just cross over to get to the shoulder. Breathe. Think. Look. A good Samaritan stopped and is out of his car on the right shoulder, where I need to get to. He kind of directs traffic and gets me over there. He makes sure I called the cops and waits with me while I call Mike. The adrenaline’s tapering off or just crashing to a halt and I’m shaking, shaking, shaking. Light a cigarette (hey, I never claimed to be smart in an emergency). Put it out. Bad idea. Feels like my stomach’s in a vise. Wish I could puke. Think I probably actually could. Find a piece of gum. So important. Take a picture of the car. Guy says he didn’t really see much of the truck or the driver, either. Call AAA. Wait what feels like an eternity for the cop. Guy says he even saw one drive by and not stop. WTF??? By the looks of my front end, you’d think it’d be an obvious thing to stop, but perhaps he was going up the exit to see if the driver of the truck had pulled over somewhere near the highway. Fat chance. Figure it’s going to take Mike too long to get here from his work way up north; I can’t make it. I cannot wait to walk away from that car. It’s sunny but not broiling, but I’m so thirsty, shaky, nauseous. Call my mom, not home. Call a girlfriend, no answer. Call my dad, answers at work. He’s on his way. Phew. I realize my ankle hurts a little, but I can still easily walk on it.
But yeah, that was not fun.
Finally, cop arrives, takes statements, AAA arrives, I clean out my car. AAA takes the car, my dad arrives, I love to death how I don’t think I’ve ever, ever, ever seen him anywhere near freaking out, and he’s seen way worse than this between me, my sister, and my brother. He just tells me he was leaving work to go give blood anyway, points out the little bit of seat belt burn on my collarbone, pats me on the head (literally, Jesus, Dad. That’s SO Dad.) for wearing my seatbelt. We decide to take me back to his house rather than mine as Mike is stopping at the body shop and maybe the rental car place first and it’d be on his way to come get me. Dad gives me my sparkly ice pack (awww) still in his freezer from vacation and makes me a sandwich. Mike calls, says we may as well get the rental, so Dad takes me up there and I drive the rental home. Find another bruise on the left knee, same leg as the ankle/foot now puffing up. 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. Popsicle peas for the win!