Tuesday, May 30, 2006

traffic accident. magic ambulance.

Weird morning all the way around.

My first call today was to repair a receipt printer at the Zales jewelry store at Rivertown Mall. That involves a jaunt down I96. It was raining kind of hard, and traffic was heavy. So I’m tooling along in the slow lane, minding my own damn bidness, when this Semi changes lanes from the right lane to the left lane, cutting off a small blue car that was already in the left lane.

And so the fishtailing begins for the little blue car. It started out with a wobble to the right, a wobble to the left, etc., slowly getting more and more severe until it was perpendicular to traffic facing right, then the other way facing left, and then it. It seems like it took forever, and the entire time I’m slowing down nice and easy thinking “please don’t let me get caught up in the crash, I got shit to do.”

But the blue car, magically, doesn’t hit any other car, and it careens off the highway and down the embankment.

So I pull over and hit the hazard button. I check the mirror. Didn’t want to lose my door to the highway traffic tearing down the slick, rainy road. I get out and run across the two lanes of highway and down through the high wet weeds and the blue car is at the bottom of the ditch, front end crumpled against a tree.

I have the cell phone out and dial 911

I tap on the window, and this girl is just bawling her eyes out, her face is all cried-up and red, she’s shaking and holding her cell phone. She opens the door and says, “The truck cut me off,” and she’s bawling. I tell ask her if she’s okay and she says her shoulder hurts. I tell her I’m calling for help and wonder why it’s taking so long for them to answer the friggin’ phone.

Then I remember to hit “Send,” and my hands are shaking, even though she obviously isn’t hurt, I realize that while I can tell everything will be fine, this poor young woman thinks she almost died. She’s not hysterical, but she’s got that little girl scaredy voice, like she’s trying real hard not to cry, and I tell her she’ll be okay.

So the operator asks what the emergency is, and I tell her there’s been an accident on I96 west, and the operator informs me that I96 is a long highway, could she get a little information like, mile marker or exit?

I have no idea. I had been listening to XM radio “Chill” station just vegetating and driving when the whole fishtail dance started two car-lengths ahead of me. So I climb the embankment and look for a mile-marker. There’s one about twenty or thirty yards down the road, but like a jackass, I left my glasses in the car and I have no idea what the fuzzy shapes on the little sign say.

Cell phone to ear, I’m running down the shoulder until the fuzzy white shapes pull themselves together enough to say “72” I tell the operator.

So I run back down the embankment, and I ask the girl how her shoulder is, and she says she thinks she’s not hurt. I ask her name and she says “Becky,” and tell her everything is going to be fine, she’d not hurt, and help is on the way. I look up and the ambulance is already there, backing up on the shoulder, as if by magic. I swear three minutes didn’t pass between the accident and the ambulance getting there.

I go halfway up the embankment and meet the ambulance drivers. I asked if they needed me to hang around, and he says no, so I leave.

I go to the mall with soaking wet pants and boots covered with weed stuff, and I fix the receipt printer.

I am such a big friggin hero.

No comments:

About Me

My photo
I am the author of 5 books: Android Down, Firewood for Cannibals, The Cubicles of Madness, Robot Stories, and most recently, Various Meats and Cheeses. I live and write in Michigan. My website is at danmanning.com