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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Some can't drive 55

Driving home from work Friday, I get to Rt 55. I need to make a left onto 55 to head south to my little suburb. Where the road I'm on meets it, 55 is on a hill and a curve; and the road I'm on meets 55 at an angle and a hill of its own, so it can be a tough merge - you gotta creep up pretty close to the northbound lane to get a good view of the traffic. So, I do. There are two cars in back of me waiting for their turn - they creep up anxiously.

Everyone else in town is already on 55 south making the same commute I do, the line of cars is going less than 20 mph, and there's a stop light about a half-mile south of me causing backups. So I need to wait for a hole to open up. I see a hole coming my way, maybe 200 yards off. Traffic on 55 N is light (and so, moving much faster than 55 S), but it's looking like it'll be all clear when that hole gets to me. So, I wait.

I've been at the intersection maybe 15 seconds total, when I hear tires squealing, and out of the corner of my right eye I see that the guy in back of me has had enough of my goofing around and is going to make a break for it. He's gonna try to get into this 3/4 car-length hole that's passing us on 55 S. Picture it: he's making a left turn onto a two lane road by going around me on my right, uphill, at an angle to the road. He has essentially no view of the traffic situation. So I see him, and for a half of a second, two thoughts occupy my brain simultaneously: "Wow, what an asshole!" and "But, what about the car ... ?"

Smash. He gets his nose into the road and immediately gets it smacked by a car zipping up 55 N. He stops dead, his front end sprayed all over the road. The car that was going north continues basically north, but now with a little hint of west. It bounces off two cars in the line crawling down 55 S, where it trades in its western momentum for some eastern momentum and ends up in the ditch on the right side. The beautiful paintjob hopelessly marred.

The dumb guy gets out of his car, gives me a look like "whew, that was close", and runs down the road to see if anyone is hurt. I consider ranting at him for being such an asshole driver, when I realize he's responsible for a four car accident - he's gonna get some sharp words from the people whose cars he wrecked, so I hold back my righteous anger and call 911 instead.

All images Copyright 2004-2005, cleek.