Saturday, July 16, 2005



Today my dad and I witnessed an accident on our way home from the boat. I was staring into space, then I looked to my left and saw a bicyclist unfortunately bouncing off the driver's side of a car in front of us. We were on the main street heading uphill, the car involved was taking a left to get on the street we were on. The bicyclist was heading down the hill, facing us, on the same side of the street of the driver taking a left.

All I saw was the collision, nothing before: the person on the bike had risen up (the back wheels were off the ground) and then it fell down. All I had seen was a helmeted head bump up, then down. The car hit by the bicyclist stopped. We all stopped. I was shocked. For real, everything around froze for about 10 seconds while everyone was just staring, thinking "Did I just see that happen?!"

And then it was like an episode of Rescue 911: suburban version. A woman in the car in front of us got out of the passenger side door and ran to the accident. I whipped out my cell phone and called the police, my dad pulled into a side street and parked on the curb. We hastily (yet cautiously) made our way over, where there was a tiny crowd gathering. The at least 65ish female bicyclist - hereby known as Old Lady - was still kinda sitting on her bike, facing the car and its horrified occupants. Some random man yelled "SHE'S going into shock!!" and my dad ran over and took the bike from the Old Lady and put on the sidewalk. Remarkably, it didn't even look damaged.

I milled around, shivering. I was not wearing any shoes.

well, not really, but you get the idea.

I walked around, looking dumbly at the traffic moving slowly around the clogged intersection and had a brief vision of me spectacularly directing traffic, a talent that before then, I did not know that I possessed. But then I realized that directing traffic, in the middle of an accident scene, while not knowing what I was doing, would be a very very dumb idea. So I just crossed the street a few times. I was pretty useless. A lady in a minivan shouted out of her car "Does anyone need a towel?" and I said yeah and took it. And brought it to the Old Lady and her bevy of helpers. By now, she was sitting on the ground. I got a good look at the car, it was light gold and had blood smears above the front left tire. There was a definite head smash on windshield mark. The only blood I could see on her was a droplet on her chin.

She seemed okay in the non-broken bones department, so that was a plus.

Then I thought about the two poor suckers in the car. They looked to be from 16-18. My God. If I had hit someone, I would have lost bowel functions then and there. Talk about a horrible nightmare! I have sympathy for Old Woman, but ... call me weird ... my heart went straight out to the kids in the car.

So I went to the passenger side door, where there was a wide-eyed boy sitting there. 'SHE'S going into shock!' Man was at the window and it seemed like he was yelling. I took control of the sit-u-a-shun and started talking to the kid, asking if he wanted to get out of the car or stay where he was.

For some reason I then abandoned this line of inquiry - oh yes, the fire truck came and I was getting out of the way - and went back to the corner of the abandoned bicycle. An ambulance came swiftly after, and my dad called me to this nerdy looking cop (what a bummer) that he was talking to and I gave him our names, number and address, and told him that all I saw was the bike hitting the car.

It seems like Old Lady was at fault, because by all appearances, she had actually crashed into the car. The gold car had just stopped at a sign and was going again, and he hadn't even turned his car yet. Old Lady had smacked right into the driver's door and window, getting thrown a bit onto the windshield. My dad said that judging by the bike, she was a serious biker and perhaps she was "trying to make a time and wasn't being careful." (Pure supposition on his part, but it adds flavor to the story.)

I then went back to the corner of the abandoned bicycle, where two friends of the poor guys who hit Old Lady were talking. Apparently Gold Car Bike Hitter is 18, and was following his friends somewhere. The friends realized up the road that something had gone horribly wrong in their mini-train, and turned their vehicle around to see what had happened. They came upon their friends in their stopped car in the middle of the intersection, a woman sitting down next to the car, blood smeared above the tire. Four people surrounding Old Lady and cars backed up because of the interference.

After shooting the breeze a little bit about who was at fault, the wife beater- wearing friend turned to me and mournfully said,

"Well. I guess we'll never make that pool party now."

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