On the onramp to the 219 going to the farm this morning, I started skidding left and right, correcting but spinning more each time until the truck spun sideways with the bumper and front passenger wheel hitting the guard rail (small posts with three tension wires). It almost took the front bumper off, smashed a headlight, and the steering failed, so I could only go back and forth. So I sat there, facing traffic, until the tow truck showed up.
But just before it did, a woman in an SUV slowed down to ask if I needed help. A few other people did the same over that few minutes, which was a large percent considering there was only a vehicle every minute or two at most. But as she slowed, I watched the truck behind her (one of those big dump trucks with the orange “Do Not Follow” on the back) swerve left and right like I did — right into her.
It was like watching it in slow motion — I could see the truck unable to stop and my mouth hung stupidly open, unable to warn her. I don’t think I froze, but instead it was just that I couldn’t even think of a signal or mouth a message to her in that fraction of a second.
She had her hands on the back of her neck, her head against the steering wheel. I told her not to move, but she did anyway, and she was unsure about needing an ambulance — so I called for one. After a moment or two, she was more upright and moved her car to allow traffic to flow. The truck driver was angry that she had slowed down (almost stopped) in front of him, even though she did it for me. I gave them both my cards, and the Orcahrd Park cop was a bit rude, waiting until the flatbed took my car (and me) away before even checking on her.
I really hope she’s okay. And I wonder if it will affect her willingness to help strangers. And I wish I wasn’t the stranger that caused her to pause …