Friday, June 26, 2009
Zippy Cars and Hair-Raising Pickups
We finally replaced our 1991 Toyota truck a few months ago. We chose a Corolla because we have upcoming teens who are going to be driving in a few years and this seemed a good car for learning to drive. It's zippy! It's good on gas mileage! It's PRETTY. :) Okay, maybe the boys didn't think that was as important, but I sure did! I LOVE IT!
I've been driving it up to Pittsburgh to visit my dad who is in the hospital. I feel so bad for him. He's on his 3rd surgery for the same hip replacement. For this last surgery, mom told me not to come up. It wasn't that big a deal, she said. But how do you NOT go see your DAD in the hospital when it's only an hour away? She said she'd worry if I tried to do Pittsburgh traffic. She said it would be okay, though, if ROB (my husband) DROVE ME. Well, HUMPH. Enough of THAT. I hopped in the car and charged up there and surprised her. I'm rebellious that way. :)
On my way home, I had specific MOM instructions to CALL HER as soon as I got home, just to make sure I wasn't in a horrible accident. I rolled my eyes like I always do when she's overprotective (I'm FORTY-FOUR and she still does this!).
It was a GORGEOUS afternoon for a drive. I was day dreaming and missed the ramp for I-79. Well, oops! I ended up adding 30 minutes to the trip AND taking a tour of the Pittsburgh airport. Yeah, well, maybe my mom has a point. :)
I finally got onto I-79 and it's a cakewalk home after that. La la la ... Driving along...
I glance in my rear view mirror and I see a HUGE GRILL from a PICKUP TRUCK bearing down on me from the SIDE at GREAT SPEED!
There's a car on my other side too!
I hit the gas, HARD, and got out of there. OH, how I LOVE my zippy car!
I got as FAR from that pickup as I could and just let him go by. What a JERK. My actual thoughts may have been a little more colorful. Ahem.
Then I noticed that he was weaving all over the road and nearly hitting other cars! So, I just stayed back. Ten minutes later, ALL TRAFFIC came to a grinding halt. I looked ahead and about 100 feet ahead of me I could see an overturned minivan AND a wrecked pickup. Evidently, the truck ricocheted off of the guard rail and hit the mini-van.
I felt so horrible for the people he hit! A fire engine and FOUR ambulances showed up and they still called in a helicopter for a life flight. It was truly a mess, but I kept asking the folks that walked up closer to see it all, and they said no one had died, which was a huge relief.
I have to admit that I was feeling most grateful to be alive at that point. If my car hadn't been zippy or if I hadn't glanced back and seen that truck, I don't know how my small car would have fared. I didn't even mind the nearly 2 hour wait sitting on the interstate. I was just glad to be where I was and not on a life flight.
Did I tell my mom this story, OH NO, I did not! But, today, I am feeling MOST fortunate to be ALIVE.
Here's the report: http://www.wpxi.com/news/19836278/detail.html