It was December. Cold enough outside that if you stuck your naked balls to a pole, they’d stick and render you a pansy. I was late for work (as per usual) and chugged my Tim Hortons (Double Double) coffee as I sped along in my MINI in the fast lane with the stereo pumpin’ and my seat heaters toastin’ my ass nicely to a crisp.
Even though it was the kind of cold that freezes your nostrils when you breathe in, the sun was shining brightly, giving the illusion of a nice day. And when your ass is being warmed by leather seat heaters, your tunes are cranked and your sunglasses are on, you don’t really know the difference. I was happy that day. In a good mood. It was 9:15 and I was still a good half hour away from work, meaning that my scheduled arrival would be approximately 9:40, exactly forty minutes after the corporate cheerleader day begins.
But I never made it to work that day.
My phone rang. I turned down my stereo and answered it. It was my boyfriend, calling me on the way to work to see how my day was going. I never said more than three words to him before my tire caught a lip in the shoulder of the road. Time slowed down and almost stopped as my car went spinning out into 3 lanes of traffic going 130KMH. My phone flew out of my hand and all I could do was scream and cry. I kept my hands on the steering wheel as the car did several 360s. I remember thinking “this is it, this is it for me. This is how I am going to die”. I immediately thought of my daughters, and the loved ones that I felt sure I would never see again. I didn’t know if it would be a truck, another car, a derby car crash up, or a tree that did it, but I knew a crash was inevitable. I remember thinking “maybe I can steer myself towards the center and smash into the median, that way I won’t hit anybody.”
The sound was incredibly loud, deafening. My car crashed with a powerful force so intense that I felt my entire skeletal structure jolt forward. Everything was silent. I couldn’t hear anything anymore and I felt like I was fading.
I came to in the back of a couples car. I don’t know how I got there, I don’t remember going there, but I was there. I couldn’t move my neck or my head and my entire body was in more pain than I’ve ever felt. The woman in the front seat held my hand as tears streamed down her cheek.
“Oh my God. I can’t believe you’re here. We were behind you the whole time. I saw you in the car. We saw you spinning. I prayed the whole time. I cried and prayed to God for you. You are so lucky to be alive. You are very very lucky.”
She seemed so overwhelmed by the fact that I was sitting there with her. I wondered how my accident had looked from the outside looking in.
He said “My wife, she screamed. She screamed the whole time. You are lucky. Somebody was watching out for you today.”
I sat there silently, crying and trying to absorb what had just happened, while feeling thankful to have my life. Then the cops, the fire trucks, and the paramedics showed up.
A fireman opened the door to the back and shouted “HOW DID SHE GET HERE? WHO MOVED HER?”
The man said “I did. I couldn’t leave her in the car. What if it blew up or something. I had to get her out of there.”
“Sir you NEVER remove somebody from a vehicle after an accident, especially when there is an obvious sign of neck and spinal injury.”
The fireman put a brace around my neck as another one opened the door and they started talking about getting me on a long spine board. Meanwhile the man rambled on about how he wasn’t gonna just leave me in the car like that, nobody was listening. But I was.
I couldn’t tell him at the time, but what him and his wife did for me meant the world to me. It’s people like them that make me proud of our human race. It’s risky just stopping on the highway, let alone getting out and pulling somebody from their car.
As I was being delicately strapped to the spine board, a female officer opened the door and had absolutely no sympathy for me whatsoever as she held up my (still open) cell phone. I obviously didn’t deny the fact that I was using it during the time of my crash. She added insult to injury by giving me a lecture about using my phone while driving (as if almost losing my life wasn’t lesson enough).
When I got to the hospital, my boyfriend was already there. Apparently he had stayed on the phone and heard the screaming, crying, and the crash before the phone went dead. He didn’t know if I was dead or alive and went driving along the highway until he found the accident site and got out of the car to talk to the cops, who eventually told him what hospital I was at.
Hours later, I walked out of the hospital, with my life, my un-fractured bones, and with nothing more than some wicked whiplash and a whole lot of body pain. I even went to the location that my car had been towed to, and that’s when the severity of the accident really kicked in. My windows were shattered, all six airbags were deployed, and the rear of the car was twisted and bare. My car looked like it had been through a war.
To this day, I am nervous, and riddled with anxiety on the road. I almost hyperventilate daily. I no longer drive on the highway with my tunes cranked. I stay OUT of the fast lane all together, and I drive the speed limit. I am so uncomfortable on the road it’s not funny. I used to be so casual and cool behind the wheel, singing, shooting videos, having the odd smoke, talking on the phone. Now my sweaty palms are firmly planted at ten and two.
So if you happen to be driving behind me one day, getting pissed off because i’m not driving 130 like you are… FUCK OFF ASSHOLE! I used to be that person. I wish I still could be, but i’m not. Now i’m the person that feels so stressed out by driving that it is a traumatic event each and EVERY time I get on the road. So have a little compassion when you see bad drivers on the road who just can’t seem to get with the program, just overtake them and leave them alone, don’t be a prick.
If you can take just one lesson from this (very long winded) post, please please, don’t use your cell phone while driving. And if you absolutely do or die must… use a headset. I don’t even use the phone while I’m driving anymore, even with my headset. It’s just not that important. I was lucky…
Safe driving out there everybody!