On Tuesday (May 14th) I had the scariest wreck of my life. I’ve been in several fender-benders in my 18 years of driving (I had my hardship license at 14), and not one of them scared me as much as my wreck on Tuesday did. It was terrifying. I still get chills when I think about it. Here is what happened:
I was driving Northbound on I540 and had passed the Lowell exit and was almost to the Pleasant Ridge Road exit (81). The speed limit is 70 mph, and I was probably going about 72 or 73 if I were to guess…in the left hand (fast) lane. I was talking to my friend Hayley on the phone, using my headset…so my phone was actually sitting in my purse at the time of the wreck. It was around 10am, so traffic was flowing and wasn’t bad at all. All of a sudden, a man in a beat-up white truck literally cuts me off. He was ahead of me at the time, so I had no idea how fast he was going, but when he was in front of me he was practically stopped…definitly not going more than 20/30 (note: after the wreck he told me that his console fell apart or something and that he was trying to get into the median to pull over….instead of pulling over on the shoulder). So…here I am going 72ish…and all of a sudden there is a white truck in front of my practically stopped. I didn’t have any time to react, I just knew I didn’t want to hit him when he was almost stopped and I was going so fast. Instead of swerving to the right into the slow lane (which had traffic in it) or rear-ending him going so fast, I veered to the left to try to stop in the median instead. Well…when I did that he did that at the exact same time….so I had to go further to the left. Ends up, there was a little gravel road between northbound and southbound traffic right at that spot (which is where the truck was trying to pull over to in the first place, I suppose)….my tires caught it while I was braking and I pretty much just didn’t have any control at that point. My car flies into the air about 3 feet (according to the witnesses..I have no idea) and bounces directly into those big yellow barrels (filled with sand) that are under the overpass to keep cars from running in to the cement supports of the bridge. I fly through those and bounce directly towards Southbound traffic on the opposite side of the highway than I started. I somehow managed to stop the car in the median on that side before I hit traffic…thank God. I came to a stop….sand everywhere from the exploded barrels…car beeping at me…and was shaking uncontrollably. I sat there for at least a minute and then realized that several people had stopped and were walking towards me. I got out of the car…in my heels…and talked to the witnesses to ensure they saw that I thought had happened (which they had). Someone said….”are you ok” and I just started crying and said “I’m only 4 weeks pregnant!” My airbags didn’t go off and I didn’t hit the wheel that I remember, but I was immediately concerned.
When I saw the old man in the white truck start to come towards me, I stormed over to him (puffy eyes and tears streaming) and said “WHAT were you thinking? You could have killed me or I could have killed you!” He started to get really upset and was very apologetic (said he didn’t see me at all) so I eased off of him. The cops showed up (I called them) and took statements while I was with the EMTs. They had to take my blood pressure 5 times over the course of about 15 minutes before it was down enough for them to be comfortable leaving me. Long story short, my car got towed to the shop….the cop wrote up a report putting blame on the guy in the white truck…and I got a ride home. Once I was home I called Dr. P to see if I needed to come in and get checked (for the baby, not me really), and he said I needed to go to the ER. UGH. Since I didn’t want to risk anything, Chris came home and got me and took me to the ER. We waited in that place for THREE HOURS without being seen. It was ridiculous. I eventually left (after having a few words with the front staff) without any care. I felt fine (just sore) and wasn’t cramping or bleeding. Plus, I wasn’t even 5 weeks at that point, so it’s not like they could easily check on the baby and hear a heartbeat or anything.
It’s several days later now, and I’m still sore from the wreck…but I’m ok. I’m in a rental car (for who knows how long) and I still get the chills and get nervous getting on I540. =( You know what, though? I EASILY could have died on Tuesday. One different decision, and I could have hit the bridge…or got into oncoming traffic…or plowed through a truck….or ran someone else off the road….who knows. I’m blessed and thankful I/We are ok….but damn that was some scary shit!
Here is my 4runner- you can’t see the broken out light/bumper in the front, but you can see the rest of the damage pretty well: