Saturday, February 11, 2012

What Flashes Before Your Eyes

This conventional wisdom that your life flashes before your eyes in a time of peril--well, it just doesn't happen, at least not to me.  What flashed before my eyes was a bright yellow car.

OK, here's the scene.  I had decided to take the two "orphan" cats to have their claws trimmed.  (I call them orphans because these are the two we rescued a bit more than a year ago.  Both had been found somewhere outside--separately.  But, to distinguish them from our other cat, I just use the shorthand--orphans.)  Anyway, their claws get, so a trim was in order.  We loaded them into their respective carrying cases, and--since the one cat gets car-sick--my husband said, take my car (a smooth riding Ford Fusion).  Regretfully, as it turns out.

I drove carefully, trying not to trigger the cat's car-sickness.  I looped around a local store, using a road that leads to the pet place, and pulled up at a traffic light.  When the light turned from red to green, I followed several other cars as we moved forward.  When I was halfway into the intersection, suddenly, from my right, I saw a flash of yellow.  A car moving way too fast to stop at the light that had to be red for the driver.  I had no time to do anything, not even brake.  I think I turned just a bit to the left, hoping not to hit him.

But hit him I did, smacking into his driver side with a hard BANG.  He then turned his car to the right, pulled off the road in a local restaurant parking lot, and I followed him.  Two other cars followed me.  As soon as I got out of the car, the other driver--a young man of about 30--asked, are you OK?

I was (so far, nothing else has popped up).  And so were the cats.  I called my husband, and told him what had happened.  He called the local police who came and did a thorough investigation.  The other two cars turned out to be witnesses whose first question was to me--are you OK?  Then, one of the men went to the other driver and said, dude, you ran a red light.  The young man was nonplused, indicating he was sure he had a green light.  Well, no, you didn't.

Meanwhile, my husband drove over, gathered up the cats, and took them for their nail appointment.  All's well that ends well.

But the ending is yet to come--on Monday, my husband will begin the task of calling the insurer.

The final coup de grace is this.  We got a call this evening from the police who did the investigation and write-up.  Seems the young driver not only ran a red light but was also uninsured.



NCmountainwoman said...

That is such a scary thing. There are so many distracted drivers around that you can never be sure what is coming next. Thank goodness you were not hurt.

Doesn't it make you angry that you have to be inconvenienced because of someone else's stupid behavior? I would be thinking and saying something far worse than Grrr.

Glad you are fine. Bad enough that you have to have the car fixed.

Beverly said...

I'm so glad you and the cats are o.k., but it is so aggravating when you have to deal with an uninsured motorist.

KGMom said...

NC--whether he was distracted, thought he could beat the light, whatever--yeah, it is scary. What I feel most badly about is that it was my husband's car. He pointed out that it wouldn't have made a difference if it were mine, but I still mind that fact.

Beverly--aggravating for sure. And a bit unnerving. The driver was from out of state, but living nearby. So, not sure if he's here or there. The police said he will get a summons--two charges: running a red light and driving without insurance.

Peruby said...

It is a sad state of affairs. Many people are letting things go. Vehicle insurance is one they think they have a chance of getting away with. I am not saying there were not people who shirked their responsibility before the economy collapsed - just that the odds are higher that we are going to encounter one. I am surpised he didn't leave the scene.

Glad you are okay.

Anvilcloud said...

We had a close enough call yesterday. I was in the passing lane when nit came to an abrupt halt. Fortunately, I try to leave a reasonable space between me and the car in front.

KGMom said...

Peruby--yikes, I hadn't even thought of the other driver leaving. Since 2 witnesses followed me, I guess that might have helped. Either way, my insurer is on the hook!

AC--close calls are so scary. You think--whew, what could have happened. I too leave a good amount of space. What I haven't maaged is warp speed, to get out of the idiot's way.

Mary Lee said...

Good grief.

Incidents like that have such an effect on your confidence, even though you did nothing wrong.

I'm betting your insurance company will step up to the plate and fix your car. Then maybe they'll turn the young driver upside down and shake him.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

It looks like at least $1,000 worth of damage.

KGMom said...

Mary Lee--Oh yes, our insurance will step up, and they will have to pay for our damage. In turn, they will go after the other driver. Pennsylvania requires drivers to have insurance, so he was definitely in the wrong. And he will be sued to recover the cost.

Philip--at least ! Try almost $7,000. We now have the estimate, and also the go-ahead from our insurer to get the car repaired. And, as I noted above, our insurer will try to recoup the cost from the other driver.

Mary Lee said...

I suppose it's too late now, but I thought of you when I saw this today: