The Musings of

Something full of magic, religion, bullsh*t.

Friday, September 23, 2005

And eleven long-haired friends of Jesus in a chartreusse microbus.

Fitz and E. Spat have both written with their usual flair of the scariest thing they've ever seen whilst driving. Actually, the original challenge was to describe the scariest thing to see someone doing while you're driving next to them on the freeway. That's a nobrainer for me: "Semi coming over into my lane" will win every time. Few things are more urine producing than seeing a 18-wheeled behemoth moving over on you and realize that you, in your car or truck, are really, really small and, apparently, invisible.

I used to live off one of the most truck-filled interstates in the country. It wasn't uncommon to have lines of 10-12 big rigs rolling along like something out of Convoy. Nor was it uncommon to see the results of a semi plowing a car. Not pretty. Not really even identifiable.

Expanding the question to encompass everything I've seen a jackass do on the road, I would have to give the Emmy for Best Special Effect Done by a Clearly Special Driver to a trucker who decided to completely flip his truck along with it's attached trailer. I was heading north on the Indian Turnpike heading towards Tulsa, Oklahoma, when up ahead I see this semi run it's right wheels into a ditch on the side of the road while moving at about 60 mph.

What happened next all went in slow motion. The driver managed to pop the cab out of the ditch and back on level ground, but the flatbed decided to hold its ground. This resulted in the cab skidding sideways and jacknifed the entire truck out of the ditch to where it was sliding down the southbound lanes with the top of the truck coming toward me. Now, I was about 300 yards away when this all started, so I got a first hand look at this thing moving sideways down the street like something out of Speed. The semi settled blocking all lanes.

Me and the guy in the pickup in front of me jumped out and ran over to find that the front windshield had popped out of the cab and was laying on the ground completely undamaged. The same could not be said for the 350 lb. trucker, who was crumpled sideways against the passenger door, which was now on the ground, and was bleeding from a gash in the head.

Fortunately, the trucker was lucid, and he told us about his little mistake. It seems that the genius had thought there was a truck stop at the exit about 100 yards down the road. He was pulling off on the underpass, when he realized that there wasn't anything on this exit but dry grass and dirt. Instead of driving down the underpass, crossing the road, and coming back up the other side, Richard Petty decided to try to yank the truck back on the interstate and ended up with his right wheels in the ditch.

To make matters worse, he wasn't wearing a seatbelt at the time, so when the cab flipped, his sizeable ass slammed downward into the passenger door, cracking his head against the corner-mounted metal fan in the process. Now he was wedged in the passenger seat with a bloody head and possible broken ribs.

As we were out in the middle of nowhere, it took nearly 15 minutes for the ambulance to arrive. It's lucky me and the other guy stayed, because it took us, the two EMTs, and two cops to remove the fat-ass Teamster from his chariot and deposit him in the ambulance. I'll never forget us walking across that pristine, untouched windshield and listening to it crack under our feet.
Centinel 12:21 PM #


In my home state of Oregon, triple trailers are allowed, and it's not uncommon near my parent's place in the mountains to see a triple trailer log truck barreling down the side of the mountain at full tilt. Scary scary scary. For real.

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