The last two paragraphs of the April 17th blog entry regarding the current life reset I seem to be experiencing lately comes to mind after today’s simply horrific ride. Lately I have seen many reminders regarding how short life can be and that each second should not be wasted while toiling in matters that we just do not want in our lives.
A ride to the bank yesterday morning to withdraw some funds for the necessary payments for the upcoming usage of campgrounds that use the honor system for cash deposits began innocent enough. The ride was comfortable in the sixty degree weather, traffic light, music clearly playing into the Shark Evoline 3 ST helmet through the Bluetooth connection from the Zumo 660 GPS. The necessary twenties and fives were evacuated from one of my accounts after a few minutes of light chatting with the joyful teller at Chase Bank and I had gone back onto the bike to proceed homeward
Approaching the very next red stop light, as I slowed down to come to the required stop, I watched in horror as a large box truck blew through the red light at a very high rate of speed and tee-boned a passenger car that had the right of way. The car was no match for the transference of energy from the large truck and immediately disintegrated at the spot of impact at the driver’s door. The four-door vehicle was pushed through the intersection, bounced off the curb on the right side of my lane of travel, just missed my motorcycle and other slowing traffic, jumped the center curb, and proceeded to drift to the opposing sidewalk. I came to a stop, dropped the bike, and ran as fast as I could shedding gear as I got closer to the still rolling vehicle. A couple of others also exited their vehicles to provide whatever assistance any of us could give.
Without going into graphic details, the next ninety minutes consisted of being in the crumpled car trying to offer assistance to a nurse that had also come running across traffic to provide urgent medical care, followed by waiting to assist in the accident investigation once the female driver had been transported out and the scene was closed off by accident re-constructionists.
I found a news story of the accident once I returned home this afternoon and linked to it; at first it only saying that the driver was critical and was airlifted from the closest hospital to another. A couple of hours ago, I received a news update that the driver had passed at the hospital. I did not know this lady, she could have been any of the hundreds or thousands of people that passed by me in life each day that I never give a second thought of later about. But from what I saw in that car showed me that she was a mother or grandmother…and she wasn’t going home again. And that tears me up inside right now.
Here is somebody that was out for the morning errands most likely, had the right of way at an intersection, and died because somebody else was not paying attention during their own drive. I found out her name and age with the updated news story…and it really angers me that somebody lives a life into their sixties only to have it taken away from another’s easily avoided negligence. Out of respect for her and the situation, no pictures will be put onto the blog of the scene. And, since it’s now a active police investigation, I will not go into any further details.
We’ve all seen the bumper stickers that remind us to be careful and that motorcyclists are everywhere. But when it comes to distracted driving, we are all at risk. At any moment, we can die due to the carelessness of those around us. And that means while we are living we need to ensure that we spend our time enjoying the time we have been given instead of wasting it away.
Had I left the bank a few seconds earlier, I would have actually been sitting at the stop light as the first vehicle in the lane wanting for the signal to change. And I’d be dead or seriously hurt because the car had been catapulted through that same area. Mere feet and seconds saved my life today; but merely watching what one was doing would have definitely saved the life of another person today instead.
A few immediate take-away reminders:
- Get and keep a seat belt cutter in each of your vehicles. I had to use this today…and it cuts a belt like it was wet paper. I can’t imagine the horror if the car had been on fire with no way to get somebody out of their seat belt.
- If you aren’t up to date on your first aid and CPR certifications, get it. This simple class, a few hours in length, is worth having. I now have the desire to pursue EMT level training regarding trauma injuries for those arriving first on scene.
- Again, life is too short. Don’t walk out of the house without telling somebody you love them.
I retire tonight thinking about this woman that I have never met before and the unbearable pain that her family is feeling right at this moment. My deepest condolences.
Damn, I need this adventure that is coming. 9 days, 7 hours until departure. For a time when the mind thinks of nothing but riding and making the next curve. Where all the stresses of life wash away and over the dancing flames of a campfire, future life decisions are evaluated and made. I’m so ready.