2/5/07

"... this is the part where people jump outta the bushes and kill you!!"

I got a call from base asking me if I could take a lady from the airport to just outside of Corvallis one night, (About 1.5 hrs away) to be picked up about 2a. I said yes and grabbed the bf to ride along as it was late and a long drive there/back.

It took a little while to find her (miscommunication on their part) but we were finally off about 2:30a.

We got to the other side of Corvallis and started looking for her mothers home. She wasn't sure where it was, and it was dark, and we were in the middle of some very large hills so we couldn't get any phone reception, but we finally found it. I dropped her 'round about 4a and we started back.

As an aside, her mother lives across the street from a Pekingnese farm. We drove up and about 300 of these little rats all started yapping. Could you imagine living across the road from THIS?
Eesh.

I drove on the way back, chatting w/J on this same 2 lane road thru the hills, lots of dips and dives in the road. As we're tooling along I come up one small rise and notice that there is ice on the road reflecting from the headlights. I say something and slow down, not using the brakes (like any good driver knows :o) .

Just as I come up the next rise I see about 100 yards in front of me a guy standing in the middle of the road in front of his jeep that is parked across the middle of both lanes.

Me: What the FUCK??

J: Slow down ... slow down !!!!!

I hit the brakes and of course start sliding right towards the guy. He's just standing there. I can't tell yet if he's looking at me or not as I'm laughing my ass off because J is squealing like a little girl. (I told him every time I tell this story I was going to say that, because he was). Anyway, laughing aside, I finally caught traction about 20 ft this side of dude (who's still just standing there in the road) and swerved to the right to miss him. I hit the ditch (missed his jeep by about 2 ft) and made it out the other side and stopped about 30 some odd ft past dude.

Me: Whoa.

J: I'm going to go back there and see if he's all right.

Me: Are you shitting me? This is the point in the movies where people jump outta the bushes and kill you!

J: Just stay here in the car. I'll be right back. Turn the car around and hit your high lights, if anyone comes running just take off.

Me: Yeah, like I could go far on the ice. Be careful.

He takes off to check on dude, I turn the car around. When I get my high lights on dude I can see his face and shirt front are coated in blood. Pretty much from the eyes down, although his forehead is messed up as well. He's just in a daze. Not moving much, just standing there. I jump out and get my flashlight from the trunk and go over to dude.

Me: Hey man, you all right?

J: He's not saying anything.

Dude looks at me and sorta mumbles at me.

Me: Dude! Hey!! Concentrate. You all right? Was there anyone else in the jeep with you? Talk to me.

Dude: Ummmmm. No. No one else. Not all right.

Me: All right, I tell you what I'll call the police, you come over here to the side of the road and sit down.

I help him over to the side of the road and J tries to move dude's jeep. I called 911 and told them what happened, they said it would be about 10 minutes to get to where we were. I got dude settled and went to help J. His jeep wouldn't start but we managed to get it into N and push it to where there was at least one lane open (ever tried to get any sort of leverage to push a vehicle on the ice?! Not an easy task) As we were busy effin w/dude's jeep we see a car coming from the same direction that we just had and a semi coming from the other direction.

We both grab a flashlight and try to wave down the vehicles coming. I get my semi stopped and explain what happened to driver but J's van ended up in the ditch next to dude's jeep because they hit the ice also.

I called 911 again and told them what was happening w/the van and whatnot, they said they were about 2 mins out.

I go back to dude and start talking to him, trying to keep him conscious when the fire trucks and sheriff finally show up. They sat up the kleig lights and started working.

The sheriff guy came over and talked to us for a second, trying to find out if there was anyone else in the car, what dude said, anything of that nature.

Sheriff: So you folks were just the first one's on the scene right? You didn't actually see the accident?

Me: No. We didn't see it.

Sher: All right then, ya'll can just go ahead and go now. You're from Portland right?

Me: Um. Yeah, Portland. You don't want our names, numbers, anything like that?

Sher: Nah. You didn't see anything, we're all good here.

Me: But, ... um ...

Sher: I'm sorry, but we're going to have to ask you to move your cab now so the ambulance can get in. Really, thanks for everything, but it's time for ya'll to go.

Me: Well, all right then.

So J and I drove off. He was driving, and I was basically not saying anything. About 15 miles later we hit an AM/PM at the highway entrance and we pull over to get something to drink. We get inside and were picking out our stuff, go up to the counter and J starts telling Guy Behind The Counter what had just happened.

GBTC: looking at me Wow! You guys were lucky you didn't kill that guy!!!

I just looked at him for a second and started bawling!!! Big ol' ugly crocodile tears. It was not pretty.

GBTC: Um. What'd I say? What'd I do?

J: Don't worry. She's good in a crisis but always freaks out afterwards. It just finally hit her. We're gonna go now.

He gets me out to the car and I lay down in the while he drives the rest of the way home. I went straight to bed.

Coupla hours later I wake up and go sit in the living room to veg out on the tv, my cell phone rings.

Me: 'Lo ?

Lady: Hello. Is this M?

Me: Yes.

Lady: You're a cab driver?

Me: Yes, but I'm not working right now. If you need a ride I can give you the number for my company, they can send you a cab.

Lady: No, I'm sorry, I don't need a ride. I need to know if you witnessed an accident.

Me: ... ummmm

Lady: Outside of Corvallis, last night.

Me: OH. Well, I didn't actually witness it, but I ran up on it last night.

Lady: OHMYGAWDTHANKYOUFORSTOPPING! IFYOUHADN'TOFSTOPPEDMYBROTHERCOULDBEDEADRIGHTNOW!IDON'TKNOWHOWTOTHANKYOU!!!

Me: Um. I'm sorry. I think I got out of that that you are dude's sister?

Lady: Yes!! Ohmygawd!! If you didn't stop he might have been killed.

We chat for a second and I ask her what they had found out.

Lady: He was on his way to work and hit the ice. He slid off the road into the ditch. Apparently he hit the ditch so hard that he was thrown out the back window of the jeep (soft top) and slid, on his FACE, for about 25 feet. He's going to have surgery today. He's broken most of the bones on the left side of his body, needs a plate in his skull, is going to have months and months of therapy and if you wouldn't have stopped to help him out then he could be dead right now. I don't know how to thank you! There IS no way to thank you. I can't believe you just came along at the right time. I talked to the people in the van, they were still there when I got to the scene and they talked about how you and your boyfriend helped Craig. Thank you. I know it isn't sufficient, but thank you.

Me: I'm sure anyone would have done what we did. Um, can I ask, how did you get my name and number?

Lady: I am good friends with the dispatcher at 911 and she gave it to me. Believe me when I say that we gave that sheriff hell when he said he just told you guys to leave without getting your names or numbers. I really wish there was some sort of words to thank you properly. Thank you so much for stopping.

Me: Really, it's ok. It was actually kinda lucky that my bf was along, 'cuz I tell ya, I don't think I would've stopped.

Lady: ...

Me: I mean, I would have called the police and all, but if I was alone I seriously doubt that I would have stopped.

Lady: ... REEEEally?

Me: Yup. Woman alone, middle of nowhere, sounds like a horror movie in the works. But I'm glad we did stop, now.

Lady: You bitch!! He could have DIED there and you would have just left him?!!! You fucking cold hearted fucking bitch!!!

She went on along these lines for about a minute then she hung up on me.

Whoa. Traumatic. I understand. I went back to bed. Took the night off.

Next day I got up and got to thinking about what she said, I almost felt bad. Almost. I called down to the Corvallis PD and talked to a lady there...

Me: Hi. This may seem like an odd question, but I was wondering if you could tell me how the guy that was in the accident the other night is doing.

She: I'm sorry, we don't know and can't give out that sort of information. Are you a relative?

Me: No. I'm the cab driver that came up on the accident.

She: Oh my Gawd! You're M?!!

Me: Yup.

She: Oh Gawd, let me tell you Craig still hasn't woken up. They've just finished the 2nd surgery on him and he is really messed up. I know his mother wanted to talk to you but Kim (sister) was so angry with you that she wouldn't even let his mom talk to you. I know she wants to talk to you though. Let me give you her work number, give her a call.

I called his mother, turns out she was at the hospital. The lady I talked to there gave me the run down, thanked me, etc then gave me his address so I could send some flowers to him at the hospital.

I sent them off. Never heard another word.

3 comments:

Heidi said...

wow! traumaic all right. And I'm with yu, if I had ben driving alone in the middle of the night, I would have kept driving too. Theres no way you could have known if he was a killer or something. Thank goodness your bf was with you.

Susan said...

I wouldn't have stopped, either, if I were by myself. I would have called 911, but I'm not getting out of the car in a secluded spot in the middle of the night.

Anonymous said...

such flattery and such venom all in the same phone call, rough night~!

Better luck with the crazies next time! ^_^