*This is a work of nonfiction that was witnessed or experienced by myself and others. Everything you read has been written with permission and based on real life situations.
Hampden Township, Pa (Traffic Accident) - The intersection of Carlisle Pike and Sporting Hill Road is a highly traveled area. While my husband and I have driven that section frequently without incident over the past few years, we do know about the dangers of it… my husband and I have encountered more “near misses” than either of us would like to count.
Friday July 7th, that luck ran out at around 2:00 pm… I believe it was 2:03 to be exact… at least that’s the time 911 was called. That should be accurate timing since we both flew out of the driver side door like our lives depended on it. At that moment, I was stuck in so many different mindsets - being a first responder years ago (kept me calm)... being a friend (it was important to make sure my friend was alright)... being a journalist (this needs to be reported on)... who was I at the moment of impact - I can’t even answer that.
What I do know is that we had guardian angels watching out for us Friday afternoon. Both of us are still in a severe amount of pain… but, we’re alive. We are still here because of her perfect reaction timing to a car turning directly in front of us. If she wouldn’t have cut the wheel the way she did, it would have been head on and horrific.
Let me give you a little insight to what our drive was like before that moment of impact. We were discussing music and our spouses that passed… we were just talking the way friends do. When we turned onto the Pike, there was a cop parked on the edge of the “on ramp” to 83. In my normal obnoxious demeanor, I made a comment - that’s a stupid place to sit… who would have known that less than a minute later, that cop would be the one to pull up.
If you know that intersection, you know… after all, it wasn’t that long ago when construction was finished to make the right hand lane go straight through to the light at Sporting Hill. It’s only been two weeks since a motorcyclist was severely injured at that intersection. It’s just the worst of the worst when it comes to red lights with green turning arrows in that area.
What I can tell you is that air bag dust is no joke… my face hit a pillow that flew out of the glove box… her face and chest hit a pillow that flew out of her steering wheel. Poor Gus… he was the most awesome blue Prius you’d ever come across. Her husband bought her that car to keep her safe before cancer stole him from this world… and keep her safe he did.
I waited to write this because we were both in shock and we are both still in pain. What I will tell you is simple… don’t knock a little Prius because that baby held up better than the vehicle it connected with. The other car crumbled inward from both sides. Thank you, Toyota…
It all seemed so surreal (it still does)… it was so instant.
As she was calling 911, I was calling my husband… voicemail… sent a text. It felt like the world was standing still through it all. I text my mom (she’s 3,000 miles away)... my friend is calling her dad and her brother… it was pure chaos. Then the cop that I made fun of for parking where he was pulled up… Officer Dressler. Dude, park there all you want… I won’t pick on you anymore. I promise.
We both denied an ambulance (that we regret 2 days later)... guess that was the adrenaline pumping through. Don’t ever deny the EMS services, ya’ll… for real. You would think as a prior first responder, I would have known better. Call it stubbornness, if you will.
While the accident was the fault of the other driver (he is being charged with it), he isn’t fully to blame. That man was waved through by a vehicle who was stopped in the “straight” lane… who had the red light. We were in the lane beside him with the green turning arrow. That driver hauled it outta there real quick after impact… not surprised. This leads me to my advice of the day - don’t wave anyone through multiple lanes of traffic… just don’t.
While I hate the pain I’m in right now, I’m so glad my friend wasn’t alone… I’m glad her teenage son wasn’t with her… and I’m so grateful for the cop that I made fun of pulling up as fast as he did. This all could have ended up so much worse… I’m just grateful. I still have my friend and we both still have our lives. That’s what matters the most.
Today, I am not a journalist… I’m not out for a story… today, I’m simply grateful…
If you enjoyed reading about the insight of my life and would like to contribute towards the work of this struggling writer, feel free to buy me a cup of coffee. Everything raised goes directly to our homeless outreach fund. Thank you for reading and I hope each of you have a blessed day.