Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Just Dune It

"Dunes" Island Beach State Park, NJ
Photograph Copyright 2007 by Vanessa V. Kilmer

"Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits."
– Thomas A. Edison

Last week, as I congratulated myself on completing my errands in record time after work, including a trip to the grocery store, I peacefully approached the street where I live. Unusually, there was little traffic, with the exception of a pickup truck just in front of me and an SUV leaving the parking lot of the new daycare center on the corner.

"Yo, Bubba," I said to myself (yes, that's how I talk in my head,) "there's no way in hell you are making that left hand turn going fifty miles an hour."

I shook my head in disgust as I watched the pickup veer left at an excessive rate of speed.

“Oh, shit, oh, shit, oh, shit…” I eloquently began to chant.

“Oh, shit, oh, shit, oh, shit…”

I watched in amazement as the truck crossed the two southbound lanes, jumped the curb, took out a metal sign and chopped into a wooden electric pole with the passenger side of the truck, continued on the newly turfed grass, drove straight between the daycare sign and the corner stop sign, crossed the street and ran headlong into the side of the church sitting on the far corner of my street.

“Oh, shit, oh, shit, oh, shit…” as I stopped in the road and fumbled for my hazard lights.

“Oh, shit, oh, shit, oh, shit…” as I clumsily dialed 911.

I babbled semi-incoherently to the dispatcher but managed to get out the information about what happened and where. Within seconds, several patrol cars, an ambulance, EMT’s and three fire trucks arrived.

My daughter is an EMT and firefighter in town and takes the pictures at scenes, so when she heard the location, she was concerned. When she arrived, she saw my car in the middle of the road and she came running.

My husband heard the impact of the crash and went to the front yard to see what was up. The neighbors told him there was an accident at the corner and my car was stopped in the middle of the street. He threw his beer can into the driveway (he always has a beer can in his hand, just ask my mother) and came running.

I assured everyone I was ok. I tracked down the proper police person and gave a statement, then asked if I could go home to put my no-longer-frozen vegetables away.

The man (a neighbor from the next street over who went to high school with my daughter) walked away from the accident with minor injures. He smashed his father’s pickup to smithereens. The church has a huge hole in the wall.

I didn’t take any pictures.


  1. Holey Moley! I'm glad you were behind him! And you told this story more vividly than the camera could, anyway.

  2. Quilly: In the reality of the situation, the world was so lucky that there was a lull in the traffic. He plowed right passed and over the spot where parents sit in their cars after leaving the daycare center and usually 20 cars are coming down the main street. No one was there. No one was hurt. And thanks for the compliment.

  3. Nessa, this is such a gripping post. You just put us right there alongside you.

    Thank God you were safe all along.

  4. Blimey! It's moments like that give me heart failure.

    Glad you stuck to the picture of the dunes. Ommmmm
    Best wishes

  5. Wow!!!that was some fright. I am glad that you were not in front of this guy.

  6. David: Mission accomplished. Thanks.

    Maddy: My heart stopped, too.

    Doug: And a Happy New Year.

    Mo'a: I'm glad I wasn't in front of him, too.

    Stephanie: I'm glad all of the help arrived quickly. It's been a long time since I've had to use my first aid training.

  7. Holy bat sh*t!!!! Wowza and all that stuff.

    You wrote it all wonderfully well.

    But, secretly I would have loved pictures. Good story, but I'm simple, ya know?

  8. Actonbell: When I first gave my statement to the police the first thing out of my mouth was, "Oh, my f--kin' G-d!"

    TLP: My daughter did get pictures. I post them later.

  9. What a terrifying experience for you. I'm so glad you're safe!

  10. Dragonstar: It was eye opening in so many ways.

  11. Whoa. I little too close to home, I'd say.

    Funny how you can see these things coming, huh?

  12. David: Like slow motion and stop action rolled into one.