An image I will not soon forget…

I witnessed, what I think to be, a fatal accident on Highway 101 around 8:40am this morning.

My sister and I were on 101 North, headed to Oregon to visit our parents and celebrate my dad’s birthday (it’s today). We were in the ‘fast’ lane. Traffic was bumper to bumper, going about 50mph. I hear tires squeal. I look over to the right lane and watch a dark blue PT Cruiser (I think) smash into the back of a big rig (about six cars ahead of us).

Every car stops.

Several cars pull over. People run over to the accident. I pick up my cell phone and call 911. As I am speaking with the dispatch operator, my sister and I make the decision to not pull over as there was already a large group of people forming around the car. I did not think we could help the situation remaining on site. I see one man walk up to the car, and immediately turn and walk away. I feel like we are in a fog and everything is moving in slo mo.

We inch past the wreck, watching for people coming out of their cars and other cars trying to pass at the same time. I look over trying to report what I see and give the police department as much information as I can. The entire front end of the car seems to be pressed into what looks like the back seat. Someone else is talking to whoever is in the car. I do not know if they ever receive a response.

I hang up the phone. My sister continues to drive and we sit quietly for a while. We both start to cry. I feel for whoever is in that car. I feel for their loved ones. I pray there is a guardian angel looking over them and they ended up walking away from that accident. I can only hope.

The image of the car hitting the big rig plays over and over in my mind. We talk about it. A lot. I think I told my sister to slow down 100 times during our trip, even though she wasn’t speeding.

When we arrive at our parents house, I sneak away for a minute to see if I can find any information on the accident. No report. No mention. Nothing. The positive I take from this lack of report is there should have been some kind of documentation if there was a fatality.

This gives me hope they were ok.

I am writing the detail of the accident down in case CHP calls me as a witness. I want to forget, but I must keep this in case it is needed.

UPDATE: July 24th – The image of the car hitting the truck scrolls across my mind several times a week, at various times of the day. There is a tightening in my stomach. There is a desire to call my loved ones. I don’t need to see anyone about it, but the image is vivid. I hope one day it will go away.

I periodically scan the internet to see if any news report was ever given. Have yet to come across a single mention. This still gives me hope they were ok.

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    I completely understand. I saw an accident on the way to the beach Memorial Day weekend. We too, decided not to stop as multiple cars were stopped and ambulance ws just around the corner. There appeared to be a big rig and a smaller car that crashed together at a 4-way stoplight and ended up in a grove of trees. There was a cloud of smoke we saw from miles away, and the trees were completely scorched. The car was totally on fire (gone) and the truck was burning as well. People were on the ground (bleeding, but moving), and I hope that people survived. I still think about it every time I drive by, and I tell people about it as well. Sometimes I think we need to share what horrific things we have seen, and realize that together we are all only human.

    yinka olaito
    yinka olaito

    we can all hope for the best, try do, act according to our capacities, yet there are laways uncertainties all around. keep moving in faith trusting for a better tomorrow is key

    Karen Hartline
    Karen Hartline

    I had a similar experience when driving home from my parents house in Michigan to my home in Wisconsin. I was about 15 seconds behind a truck that rolled across 4 lanes of traffic. I stopped, as did many others, and also decided I would be more in the way and kept driving. I scanned the online papers for any news and never found anything. The images creep into my mind every now and then when I'm driving on a highway. Serves as a reminder that we only have one life to day at a time.