Monday, March 7, 2011

Boom Crash Boom

I guess it would have been appropriately coincidental if I had been listening to a song by Billy "Crash" Craddock last Wednesday as I drove home.  But such was not the case.  I was listening to a tape of last week's Prairie Home Companion show, minding my own beeswax, when all of a sudden...

To tell the story from the beginning, the day began like any other day.  I got up, and went to to work.  I gave blood downstairs at the Red Cross blood drive, and worked the rest of the day, and after work I went up to Timonium across from Peggy's office to get x-rays for my knee surgeon to see how well my 2000-model knee replacement is holding up. It's the 11th anniversary, and the hope is that it will last forever!  Toward making it last, I refrain from dancing, running, playing basketball and tennis, although I am known to do the Beavis Butt-Out Dance for celebratory occasions.

X-rays in hand, I went back across the street with Peggy, got some chow to take home for dinner, and we left for home.  Now, Peggy has her way of driving, and I have mine, and since we each had our own vehicles, there was no need for me to follow her or her to follow me, she said.  So I went to take my scenic route home - out across Dulaney Valley Rd and through the pines at Loch Raven Reservoir.  There is a slight detour on this path, as a small bridge is being replaced.  Apparently, the work on the bridge is being done by beavers who have run out of mud, because this tiny little bridge has been out since last summer.

That didn't matter to me. I didn't even get to Dulaney Valley Road before getting my tail end smashed up.  More accurately, the tail end of my beloved truck was smashed up.  I was sitting in a long line, waiting for the light to change at Dulaney Valley, when I heard a very very loud BOOM. I really thought it was gunfire, but it came out of nowhere.  I only had about .327 of a second to hold onto that notion before my truck got hit and then hit again.  "Oh fiddlesticks," I said, or something like that.  I got out of the truck and saw something that looked exactly like four-car pileups always look in the movies.  And in my past I have been at the scene of many accidents, plenty worse than this, in the line of duty, but this time it was different, since I was notified of this one at the exact time it occurred.  In this one, a guy in a truck hit a woman in a car who hit a woman in a truck who hit my truck.

First, check on the other drivers.  A woman in one of those little Hondas was trapped in her car.  The others were injured or compromised, but were out of their cars, so I called 911 and reported it as a rescue.  Before long at all, police and fire/EMS apparatus and the rescue squad from Lutherville were on the scene, and the rescue squad opened that car like a can of soup, safely removing the driver to send her on her way to a hospital.

I can't really go into a lot of details here about the who-hit-whom, because there are the proverbial legal matters pending and suits enough to wallpaper the Astrodome coming up, I'm sure.  On the advice of counsel, I'm not saying anything more than I was hurt, the truck needs fixing, and both of those conditions are being addressed.

I do have to hand it to the police, fire and EMS personnel on the scene.  I think it was the textbook way of handling a multi-car wreck.  They got on scene, assessed the risks and then triaged the injured.  And the people in the neighborhood, who may or may not be used to having their street look like a Hot Wheels® track where a cranky child has haphazardly thrown four toy cars, were kind and generous as well.  One woman asked if I needed a drink of anything, and what I needed was to get rid of the water I had guzzled on the way out of the X-ray, believing I'd be home in time.  She graciously allowed me to go to Tinkletown, which beat the plan I had involving going behind a willow tree.

Funny, the things you remember.  It was warm that day, and even when we left the grocery store, all I had on above the waist was an undershirt and a short-sleeved sport shirt from the fabulous Eddie Bauer Mad About Plaid collection.  Five minutes later, I'm standing on the street, and very thankful for the hoody and jacket from the Eddie Bauer Whatever The Leather collection that I had in the truck.  And gloves.  And a cap.

And Peggy there beside me.   You know, back in the days BC (before cells) I would have had to wait for her to get home and then call from someone's kitchen phone, but my Droid called hers and she turned around to come to my side.  She was, of course, the comfort of comforts, and helped deal with the various officials on the scene.  I was in shock.  For once, I hardly had anything to say.  Now, you're in shock.

Today I have to take my truck to the fabulous Jones Toyota body shop, where he will be outfitted for a new hind end.  You can fix trucks, and you can also be glad that no one died in this event.  Once again, the angels were up there looking out for me. 

Thanks, angels!

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