Friday, January 10, 2014

January 10th

Hi, it’s Christina –

What a surprise, it’s snowing … again. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for spring! I’m really going to be hating this weather when I come back to New Jersey next Sunday after spending three days in South Carolina.

So we had some excitement around here last night, and not the good kind. About twenty minutes to seven, there was a pretty bad car accident at my corner. It’s so strange, I happened to be outside at the time and looking toward the intersection when it happened, yet I have no idea what happened. The first thing that registered in my brain was the noise, and then watching the traffic light fall.

I took my first step toward the scene, then I quick turned around and yelled into the house for Dani to call 911, and then I ran out to the intersection. There were two cars involved, both SUV type vehicles. I had to choose which car to go to, and since the lady in the red truck had already got out of her vehicle and was walking around to her passenger’s side, I started to head to the silver car, which is the one who took down the traffic signal. As I was about to cross the street, Dani hands me the phone with the dispatcher on the other line who begins to ask me questions. Is anyone hurt? How many cars involved? Etc.

I start to relay the information to the dispatcher, explaining everything that is going on around me. “Two cars. The traffic signal was taken out. Fluid coming from one vehicle but it appears to be antifreeze. One driver does not appear to be hurt, she is out of her vehicle and walking around. I believe she has a passenger, but I don’t know their status. I’m headed over to the next vehicle to check on the other driver.”

I finally get to the car. At first the man thought I was the driver of the other car and he asked me why I ran through a red light. He was agitated, hyperventilating, and appeared to be on the verge on a panic attack. I explained to him I was not the driver of the other car, that I live in the house on the corner. I manage to get him calmed down, and the whole time the dispatcher is listening to our conversation. (It is going to be a really long 911 tape.)

At this point an off duty police officer pulls up and begins to help (but I didn’t know he was a police officer), but his arrival gets the driver of the silver car all flustered again. I tell the dispatcher a fireman has arrived, but he’s from another town. The dispatcher asks where and I go to read what his jacket says. The cop hears me say “He’s from…” and he says “Hillsborough Police Department”. The dispatcher must have recognized his voice, because he says “Oh, ok. Ambulances are on their way.” I say okay and we disconnect.

Now the driver is out of his car and is starting to panic, and the police officer – I don’t want to say yells, because that would imply he was being mean and he really wasn’t – firmly tells the driver to sit back down in his car. I tell the cop, “I’ve got him, go check out the other people.” Then I try to calm the man down again. He hands me his phone and asks me to call his wife. I finally get him to the point where he’s not gasping for air, and I’m also now trying to calm his wife down on the phone when the cop come back and yells get the car turned off; (please keep in mind, he is only yelling to be heard; the scene was very noisy) but his voice upsets the man all over again.

I put the car in park and try to turn the car off but it wouldn’t shut off. I tell the officer, and he leans in and finally manages to turn it off. I assure the wife her husband’s only injury was a small cut on his finger she would be able to kiss and make all better and I would stay with him until everything was over. I disconnect with the wife and get the man calmed down again.

The ambulances finally pull up on the scene. That’s when I find out the man’s car is on top of live wires and we need to back away from the vehicle. (Would have been nice to know before we had the man sit back in his car, and before both the officer and I were leaning in his car to try and get it turned off.) I pass the man off to the EMTs and begin to walk away when I hear my name being called from the side of the road.

Turns out one of my ex-cheerleaders, who is also a neighbor, was sitting at the light when the accident happened. Thankfully her and her car were not involved, but the wires were touching her car, so she was standing on the side of the road with her mom. We chatted for a few minutes, then I left to try and get the traffic turned around and away from the scene. I did that for a few minutes until the cop yelled at me that I was going to get hit and not to worry about it. So I gave up and went back to my house. When I looked at the clock, it was seven-ten.

All of that happened in a little over half an hour, but wait, the story doesn’t end there. When most of the hullabaloo was over – around nine - I took Colby out. That’s when I heard the man from the silver SUV arguing with the tow truck driver. Colby starts barking his head off, so I bring him inside. I go back out just in time to see the tow truck driver literally squeal away, and to hear the man cry, “Don’t leave me here. Please don’t leave me here!”

Seriously? It was twenty-five degrees outside and that heartless creep leaves a man who was just in a car accident stranded, in the dark, on the side of the road, with a phone that wasn’t working. It’s times like that when I pray Karma really works.

I walk over to the man, who is now crying and shivering. “The police told me the tow truck driver would take me home, but he just left me out here.”

“Come on, I’ll get you home.” I put my arm around his shoulder and walked him back to my house. Asked him to wait a second so I could tell my husband what I was doing, then I piled him and the few things that jerk of a tow truck driver allowed him to get from his car, and drove him home – all the way to Princeton Junction, a little over half an hour away.

I cranked the heat in the car to high, but he was so cold, the poor man didn’t stop shaking until we reached Nassau Street in Princeton. The whole drive I chatted with him to try and keep his mind off of what had happened to him. Turns out the man works at a Pharmaceutical company nearby, has 2 PhDs – one in Biochemistry and one in Biophysics, and has two young children. During our conversation, I came to know he is an incredibly brilliant and very sweet man. When he started explaining about the work he does in developing cancer fighting drugs, I knew he was starting to relax and would be okay.

I drop him off, safe and sound, at home, and then I head directly to our police station to file a complaint against the tow truck driver. The police had left the man sitting in the tow truck, thinking everything was finished. Needless to say, the police were not happy to hear what had happened after they had left the scene. Then they were shocked that I drove the man all the way home, and said I should have called and they would have done it. Oh yeah, being brought home in a cop car would have been the icing on the cake to the man’s day.

Since this blog post is about double the normal size of my posts, I will forego the writing challenge for today. I wish you all a marvelous day & happy writing!