9 July 2011

One last post about the trip

As I mentioned in the post below, the most memorable part of our trip was, unfortunately, an accident we were very nearly in as we drove into Montreal.

I was driving on the forty, on a clear day, down a straight stretch of road.  I was in the centre lane.  There was a van driving in the right lane, a few car lengths ahead of me.  As we drove along, another car sped past me on the right, and swerved into my lane to pass the van.  On a clear day, down a straight stretch of road, she swerved in front of me, and lost control of her car, lost control, I said, changing lanes.  She fishtailed, jammed on her brakes, and slued into side of the van, close to its rear.  The van now spun out, flipped over, hit the guard rail, and skidded, spinning on its roof, out into the road again, right into my path.  I had hit the brakes, but it didn't seem enough.  I looked for a way out.  To the left? No, that's the way the van was heading.  To the right? No, that's where the van is.  A thousand thoughts went through my head.  There's no way out.  I'm going to be hit.  My family is in the car.  The car is a rental.  Where did the other car go?  That van is too close.  Stop!  Please, stop!

The car came to a halt, the noise ended.  I looked around.  The van in front was on its roof.  Debris was scattered around the road. The car was off the road behind me, to the left.  My car was untouched.  Elder was hyperventilating and crying.  Younger said; "That was awesome!"  Frodo laughed.  Puff ran out of the car to help the people in the van.  I tried to stop her, as I didn't want her to see dead bodies.  I asked elder for her cell phone.  I forced her to calm down and hand me her phone.  I called in the accident.  I needn't have bothered.  Dozens of other drivers had already called it in.

The driver and passenger of the van seemed alright, although the EMT's, when they arrived, all but tackled them and held their heads steady in case of neck injuries.  The driver of the car had an abrasion on her face from her airbag.  She told the police she had been cut off. The people in the van were in shock, and had no idea who had hit them.  They were taken away in an ambulance.

I waited around to give my statement to police, but no one seemed interested in talking to me.  I finally went to speak to one of the police myself.  "Are you a witness?" he asked.  "No," I said.  "I am the witness."  

I told him the story, but he wrote down nothing, and only took my name and phone number.  "We have no fault insurance here," he said.  "We leave it up to the insurance companies to decide what caused the accident."  I, for one, was stunned.  They had no interest in getting a bad driver off the road, and protecting other drivers. 

At any rate, we were well.  We had been in the middle of two spinning out of control cars, and neither had hit us.  We could continue on our way. 

In Montreal, we visited several churches.  In most of them, we lit candles, knelt and prayed in thanks for having survived unharmed.  We also said a prayer of thanks to our guardian angels, and complimented them on a job well done.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As a resident of Quebec, I offer my deepest apologies and profound condolences at your encounter with one of the many lousy drivers on our roads. And I'm also thankful that you and the family are OK. I hope that this incident didn't put you off entirely about returning. Unfortunately, the sort of driving you were victimized by is all too prevalent in this province. Many people are killed each year in accidents, and w/out the help of our guardian angels, the toll would be a lot higher. We live outside Montreal. Our older son works downtown and commutes into town each day, and I pray for his safe travels to and from home. So please pray for all of us here in Quebec as we go about our daily business on the roads. As you experienced, it can get quite scary at times.

Patricia Gonzalez