Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Motorcycle Accident

Have I talked about this here? I don't think I have.

This happened a long time ago. Over twenty years ago. I was in New England, staying at the house of a college friend. We were driving - me, my friend, and her mother. We were driving around a quiet country road when, suddenly, a guy on a motorcycle came screaming by us.

We were on our way to something that seems meaningless now. A grocery store, an ice cream place, a park.

We were going maybe 30, 35 miles an hour. The motorcyclist must have been doing twice that. He passed us on a curve, ignoring the double yellow line and the "No Passing" signs. He sounded like a chainsaw passing by us.

"That guy's going to get himself killed," I said. I think I said it out loud. In my memory, I did. And that's what makes the next few minutes so horrifying.

I watched him for a minute, whipping around curves, and then lost sight of him. And then saw him again. He was coming up to a T intersection, and there was another car coming. He was headed west, and the other car heading south.

He hit his brakes so hard that I saw sparks flying out from beneath his back wheel. And then the impact happened.

He went flying. He ended up on the road, still as a memory. Dark red blood pooled beneath his head, his head that was still wearing his useless helmet. It was ineffective - he hit the ground too hard to have any hope. It was over instantly. I hoped - hope - that it was over instantly.

He hit the car (it was a big solid car, a Cadillac or a Lincoln Town Car) hard enough that the front wheel went flat. The front bumper was crushed. The elderly couple was coming around a corner, tried to stop, had no time to stop. They were horrified. So were we.

I had been to funerals, but I had never seen a dead body like this. I had never seen someone die right in front of me. And that's what happened. Five minutes ago, he was the idiot on the bike. And then, he was the dead body lying in the road.

The police came. They asked questions, took names and numbers. We went to the local police station to file an official report, since we were officially witnesses. I told them about the speed, about the sparks. The police officer thanked us for our time and said there might be calls later.

"That guy's going to get himself killed."

It's a horrible feeling, thinking that you predicted the future. It's something that people probably say all the time without thinking about it. Like Luke Burbank reported the other day, when he recounted his own motorcycle accident story on TBTL - "it would serve that guy right to get it in an accident."

You don't think it's going to happen. You literally aren't wishing ill of the other person. You don't want the other person to get killed. It's just something that you say without thinking about it. Sometimes, there's a tiny part of your mind that wishes the universe would exact its karmic revenge instantly. And sometimes, God help us, the universe does.


Ethan Rehman said...

That guy's going to get himself killed' -- The same thought comes to mind every time I cross path with reckless motorcycle drivers. And fortunately, I have not witnessed any major motorcycle accidents. I think it has something to do with our subconscious reminding us to act responsibly, and to refrain from engaging in reckless behavior.

Belinda Jefferson said...

That was unfortunate. Accidents can really cause emotional trauma, not only to the ones directly involved, but also to the witnesses and spectators. The accident definitely burned in your memory, but things happened for a reason. And maybe this will teach us a lesson to be more careful when we are on the road, and not to be careless when handling our vehicle.

Sky Bluesky said...

It was definitely one of the major traumas I've experienced.

On the other end, I'm so cautious now when I see a motorcycle. And generally, they're some of the most responsible drivers on the road. Most of them know how easy it is to have an accident, and how often they're overlooked by drivers.

Tracy Pierre said...

Reckless acts lead to unfortunate events. I know that you are not directly involved in the accident, but that moment definitely burned in your memory. Shocking and terrifying as it was, you can use that to remind yourself and the people around you not to be careless with their actions, especially when they are handling their vehicles.

Amy Baron said...

An accident that leads to an untimely death is commonly caused by reckless driving. Stricter policies or laws should be implemented to lessen road accidents. Drivers should be taught discipline and responsible driving to avoid road mishaps that can cause harm to the both the innocent pedestrians and motorists.

-Amy Baron