October 6, 2003

Setting it straight

Saturday I read and highlighted 12 cases for my memo. Then I drove to my hometown to have dinner with friends and play with my niece until her bed time.

Sunday, the same friends and I drove to the harvest festival in Amador County. On the way there, we found ourselves waiting at a stop-sign to enter the two-lane highway. There was a parade of several hundred motorcycles, and no break in the traffic. We were all impatient. The first care car in the line missed several opportunities to go and we (the people in my car) were grumbling, "come on, you could have made it." The passengers in the second car actually threw their hands up in disgust when the first car refused to make a break for it in one of the traffic breaks.

After the first and second car finally got on the highway, the car in front of us jumped out when there was a break in the far lane. A 1/2-ton truck in the near lane slammed into the front of the sedan, causing it to spin two times. I held the streering wheel hoping it wouldn't spin a third time and hit us. When it stopped, we jumped out, called 911, and all offered what we could to help. One of my friends is an Athletic Trainer. She called the shots, ordering people to help until the paramedics, jaws of life, and fire department arrived. Even after all the professionals arrived, they handed her gloves and enlisted her help in getting the woman who was pinned out of the truck. The driver of the car that the truck hit was a young boy, probably 18. His passenger was his grandmother. They both appeared to be in excellent condition even though their American-made sedan was missing most of the engine block. The driver of the truck appeared to be fine. The passenger of the truck had a broken hand, a broken leg, a dislocated hip, head trauma from her head breaking the side window, and chest pain. Life changed for all of those people in half of a second. It almost changed for us. The car behind the truck was driven by a race car driver, who avoided the crash. Had he not, we probably would have been hit as well.

Be careful people. Slow down. Keep your priorities straight. I was glad that I had chosen to spend the weekend with family and friends instead of finishing my memo. That's what I'll be doing this morning. I have no problem trading a few LWR points for quality of life in a world where we can die at any moment.

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