On driving up to an extraordinary highway accident

I dialed 911, my hands shaking. Five minutes from home. Five minutes from my dogs welcoming me with wagging tails. Five minutes from shutting down and crawling in bed. Five minutes. Five minutes is all it took for the police to arrive. It was 1145pm and two bodies lay haphazardly in two lanes of a major Interstate. Here’s what I saw as recorded on my dashcam.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. This is something you only see in movies. But sitting comfortably in the theater you also have the benefit of knowing more of the story. And the satisfaction of knowing how the story ends. Right now, even as I type, I only know a little more than I did in the video. I was among the first to arrive so all I could think to do, as others did also, I would learn later, is to call 9-1-1. Between seeing the wreckage and bloody bodies and realizing I was shaking from nerves and cold weather, I tried to keep together and follow the instructions of the woman on the line, answering her questions as best I could. How many are there? Are they moving? Is there blood? Did anyone have a clean dry cloth to aid the victims? Where am I? As I continued on in the call, people came out from their cars to offer help to the people laying helpless on the pavement. An arm raises. A body shifts. They were both alive. But what happened? How did they get there? Were they hit, ejected from a vehicle, or something else? I guess that information is now the task of local authorities, as the police were very quick to arrive on the scene, and emergency services were, too. The cops were there in under 6 minutes, the ambulance within 7 or so. With people still tending to the injured, the police taking control of the scene, I decided to continue home. I fired up my computer and checked the footage. Amazing. Images burning into my mind. Will the news be reporting on this? I’ll send them a private link. Then a my phone rings and I’m part of the early morning news with exclusive footage and a phone interview. I hear from friends and co-workers that they saw me on the news. Reports are the two victims, one minor injuries and one critical, will both survive. As I scan the news site periodically the story moves further and further down the page. Other crashes. Domestic violence. Rescued puppies. Lunch recipes. Life keeps going.

I’ve heard from the news contact: The police and hospital haven’t released any other information meaning the two will be fine. I’d still love to know how the story started. I know how that night ended for me, though. After the phone calls and emails, I snuggled up and fell asleep with my 2 dogs, grateful that I was even able to snuggle up with them, all of us healthy and safe.

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