Monday, February 26, 2007

Do Zombies fear Death?

I almost died last night. Zombie jokes aside...I nearly bit the dust.

I was driving from Nawlins to Washington D.C., a trip I've made about 20 times since the storm washed my family and I out of the city. It's about an 18 hour drive (about 1000 miles) and I usually drive it straight through.

I was about 150 miles outside D.C. near Strasburg, Virginia on I-81. It was about 2 a.m. and it had been sleeting for about the past 100 miles but nothing too bad. I was going about 65 (I usually run at about 90) which I thought was a safe enough speed in those conditions considering I drive a truck. I was wrong.

I was in the lefthand lane and I felt the backend of the truck start to slide to the left. At first I thought I was ok and I let off the accelerator but no luck...the backend kept coming around. Next thing I knew I was in a 360 spin. The interstate runs right through the Shenendoah Valley and through the Blue Ridge Mountains, so the terrain is preciptious to say the least. I looked up and I was headed straight for an embankment which dropped off about 60 feet into a rocky ditch.

Weirdest thing....I wasn't scared. I remember thinking, "So this is how it's gonna happen." There was nothing I could do so I just kind of watched the whole thing go down...it was very weird.

I hit the metal gaurd rail nearly dead center at probably about 45 to 50 mph. I never expected it to hold me, but luckily it did. I bounced off it like a bumper car and it spun the truck back around out into the road facing the opposite way on the interstate where I came to a rolling stop.

I remember laughing and saying "Son of a bitch!" out loud....I was amazed the rail actually held me. Then I looked up and there was a semi headed straight for me. Once again there was nothing I could do so I just sat there like I was watching a movie. The semi swerved about 4 feet from me and barely missed the right back side of my truck. I got lucky again.

I pulled the truck off to the side of the highway, pointed backwards, and just sat there for a minute laughing. I looked at the rail and it was bowed out where I had nailed it. It had actually snapped one of the stantions out of the ground and the bow was about 6 feet wide.

I couldn't help but laugh, I don't know why...I just couldn't believe I didn't go off into that ditch/canyon.

What's even stranger is it's been about 24 hours since it happened, and now it scares the hell out of me. It scares me to read this back.

Just having trouble wrapping my head around it.

16 comments:

ashley said...

Hijo de puta! To me, an evangelical christian at my very adulterated core, this is proof that there's a God, and he spends most of his time at a craps table.

During my evac in Chicago, I was driving my car, which had previously been interned at MSY, up to our evac household in Chicago. SOmewhere in southern Illinois, I hit some black ice, and went spinning into the median. The HP came by to not help me out of the ditch , but to make sure I had a ticket. Thanks, bubbbbbbbbbbba.

rcs said...

Wow... I've done that drive a few times myself (I'm a JMU alum) and it gets hairy in the snow. Glad you made it without harm.

Marco said...

There are big signs and little signs. I'd go with big on this one. Glad you're ok.

oyster said...

I'm so glad you didn't give up the ghost, and that you're alright.

Take care, buddy. You got lots more to do in this life.

Adrastos said...

I'm glad you're okay, Ashe. Dr. A is from Staunton Va so we've driven that road many times and it is very hairy at night between the terrain and the aggressive kamakaze truck drivers.

Editor B said...

I'm glad you're OK.

TravelingMermaid said...

You were meant to fight the good fight here in NOLA....everything happens for a reason. God and the angels were looking out for ya, mon ami. So glad you're still with us!

Slate said...

Glad you're okay. It's terrifying. I know. I was driving up I-25 in New Mexico, no snow coming down, sun shining, but bitter cold. I was headed for Colorado to pick up my grandson. Up through the mountain passes I go in my (then) Crown Vic. No matter which lane you were in or what direction you were going, you were driving virtually on a road on a cliff through those mountains. I hit black ice, hadn't moved the steering wheel nor had I changed speed. Whoopeee, merry go round time, and all I could see was pinon pines way down there. Luckily after spinning around three times I wound up in the arroyo that sufficed as a divider between the two directional lanes.

I did the same thing you did. Just sat there laughing and being stunned that I hadn't gone off either side (some people had spun out across into the oncoming lanes, so that definitely was a possibility.) I then had to angle the car up the side of the arroyo to get back on the road. Got where I was going and THEN got really scared.

It has always made me wonder if that's truly how I'll face death. "Whoa, so something finally got me! Never expected it to be THIS" whatever "this" turns out to be. I don't expect to be scared when I reach the other side though. Hope there's no oncoming traffic saying "Hey what the hell are you doing here?"

Seriously, though, this happened to me years ago and it's always reminded me how fast it could be over. I try to remember that when I'm sitting around feeling sorry for myself. At least I'm still breathing.

So glad you're okay.

Sophmom said...

Holy shit! I am sooooo glad the guard rail held and the truck swerved. I've had enough bad. Need Zombie okay.

rickngentilly said...

looks like that itsy bitsy spider in the bed of your truck was looking out for ya.

stay safe cuz and come home soon.

ashley said...

BTW, damned glad you're OK.

LatinTeacher said...

Been on that drive plenty of times. It makes me want to fly (but usually when it's snowing or cold or winter up here it's really windy, too so landing and taking off are hairy) Glad you are safe.

mominem said...

How does a Zombie know it wasn't killed?

Seriously I'm glad you got there alive.

greg p said...

Stop doing that! Jesus Christ. Just think, if you died in a car crash -- the conspiracy theories, oy!

Leigh C. said...

Ooh, is that scary. But at least you didn't wake up in a hospital.

A friend of my parents was driving a teensymobile in Canada someplace and was literally blown off the road by a semi. All he could remember was one minute he was driving down the road, and then he woke up in the hospital. Witnesses said it was a frightening, mind-boggling thing to behold.

Be careful out there, and take some time out to enjoy your life a little.

Maitri said...

So, back when I lived in central Illinois, the schools decided to close in the middle of the day because blizzard's-a-coming. My dad finally drove out from the farmstead to get me and we ended up driving in the blizzard, with exactly a foot of visibility.

At some point, we ended up driving down a railroad track, drove down it until we got off at the next street, managed not to get hit by trains and other moving vehicles and made it home to find out that my dad had left the garage door wide open and it was filled with snow. We laughed and laughed.

And then there was the time I was a pedestrian hit by a car doing 40 and remember saying to myself, while flying through the air, "Wow, this is an interesting view of the world. I feel like a cartoon character."

We are but God's television, here for his amusement. And it just wan't your or my time. Glad you're safe.