Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Moving forward

I have been struggling this month with the accident that my car was in. I wasn't there when it happened, my car was struck while parked on the side of the road. A couple days later I was told that the man that hit my car died later the day of the accident. I did not see the accident happen, I arrived on the scene as the police were getting ready to tow my car out of the street where it was blocking traffic. It was a bit confusing to me, my car had been pushed 60 feet from where it was parked. The other vehicle that I saw being loaded onto another tow truck was on the front lawn of a home down the street in the opposite direction. I wasn't sure what exactly hit my car or how it happened. The police officer I talked to said the driver that hit my car seemed confused and was taken to the hospital (a half a block away). I got the impression that no one was seriously injured.

It took over a week to obtain a copy of the police report so that I could get the insurance information required in order to get my car repaired. During that time I learned that the driver had passed away, but I had no idea what caused his death.

The image above is from the police report. According to the report, my car was not the only vehicle involved. The car that hit mine was accelerating when the accident happened. After slamming into the back of my car, it then went into reverse and back out into the street where it hit the side of a hospital commuter bus that swerved into the oncoming lane but was unable to avoid the collision. The driver that hit the bus (and earlier, my car) continued back across the street and through a metal sign post and then, after going through a fence and part of a stone wall, ended up in the front yard of a home a few doors down from where I was originally parked. The accident happened around 3:30 in the afternoon, the driver died at 7 that evening. From the police report it sounds like the driver's health issues may have been the cause of the accident and the eventual cause of his death. But I will never know for sure exactly what happened. It has helped me some to know that it probably wasn't hitting my car that killed this man.

It's hard to describe the heavy feeling that I have been carrying with me these past few weeks. The life of someone I never met was lost after an accident involving my car. And while I had no responsibility in the accident, my car was parked legally, I felt a sense of sadness and guilt that I couldn't understand. Everyone that I talked to told me to just be glad I wasn't near or in my car when the accident happened. On an intellectual level that's a no brainier - but on an emotional level it wasn't so easy for me to accept an move on. Even after the repairs to my car were complete I found myself noticing everything about my car that wasn't the same and in a sense, about me that wasn't the same. I had the car checked out thoroughly by the dealership after the repairs were done to ensure that the transmission and other mechanical components on the car were not damaged during its skid up the road while in gear - it's a manual transmission and has all wheel drive.

The salesman we bought the car from is a good person and I ended up calling him a couple days after I got my car back and asked him to test drive it with me. As silly as that may sound, it helped me get to where I needed to be to deal with my feelings and get on with my life. He took my concerns seriously and listened to me. He drove my car much harder than I ever will, but it was what I needed. So I am grateful to him for that. I am also grateful to my Ravelry ciber friend, cirronimbus, who cared about how I felt and took time to send me a note that helped validate my feelings. Life is full of may twists and turns. It's nice to know there are still people in the world who care about others enough to give a little of their time. An important thing for me to remember as I continue on with my life and encounter others that may need a minute or two from me.

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