It’s too dangerous out in the real world.
B and the big three were still camping, and the weather was perfect, so Elizabeth and I took a leisurely stroll around the block. We stopped to smell flowers and point at squirrels and kick the ball we brought with us. As we turned the last corner before our street, I heard a car coming along way too fast. I turned in time to see the car swerve back and forth and then jump the curb about 10 feet in front of us. The car plowed through several small trees and then travelled another 30 feet or so before being brought to an abrupt stop by a metal bus bench.
I snatched Elizabeth up and pulled out my phone to call 911. While I was on the phone with the operator, several people stopped to check on the driver. My across-the-street neighbor came out and took Elizabeth from me so that I could tell the driver that the paramedics were on the way. I was amazed at how quickly the emergency folks responded. Police, fire and EMS were on the scene within moments of my hanging up with 911.
After I gave a witness statement to the police officer, I went to my neighbor’s house to retrieve Elizabeth, and that’s when I really started to freak out. I couldn’t stop thinking about the what ifs of the situation. What if we hadn’t stopped to smell some flowers? What if we hadn’t been kicking the little ball along? What if Elizabeth hadn’t decided she needed to sit down on the sidewalk? If we had been 10 or 15 seconds faster with our walk, we would have been smack in the block-long path of destruction this woman left in her wake.
Odds are, the woman was speeding down the road, talking or her phone, or texting, or putting on make up – everything except watching where she was going. I’ve resolved not to talk on the phone ever again while driving. From now on, my phone is staying in my purse while I’m driving.
And I am never leaving the house again. I’m a recluse by nature anyway.
The bench had been bolted into the side walk. The car pushed it a good two feet and mangled it beyond repair. Even though the driver had hopped the curb half a block back, she was still going really fast when she hit the bench.
The path of destruction. All the trees got sheared off at ground level.