Sunday, January 07, 2007

In an instant, everything changes

Why would a woman, with her young daughter in the car, be driving maybe 100 mph on a city street and cross over into on-coming traffic? Was she late for something? Was she having a seizure or heart attack? Was she rushing her child to the hospital? Was she intoxicated or drugged out?

I don't know. What I do know is that she spun out of control, rolling her red Kia into a power pole, which resulted in a 3 hour power outage for 4000 of us today.

At noon today, from the safety of our home, we heard a loud crash, about 2 minutes AFTER our power went out. I guess it took a few minutes for the splintered power pole to come crashing down to the ground. Within moments it seemed, there was one police siren after another, then a fire truck, then an ambulance, racing past out house towards Los Osos. Maybe it was an airplane that crashed; what else could have made such a loud crashing noise?

Having just gotten outa' bed ( was noon), I thought first of coffee but realized, duh, power. The boys had been watching football so they headed off to their favorite pizza place (Woodstocks, of course), to continue their sunday activity. I wandered aimlessly around the house realizing their was nothing to do without power (except "file"........which is a stupid thing one of my X-bosses used to say when we lost power at work). So to avoid filing, I headed off to the scene of the accident.

I've never seen so many lookie-loo's at a car accident before. My goodness, my neighbors are nosy. We all stood gazing at an upturned red vehicle by the side of the road, with power lines strewn all over it. One little car. That's what caused this major power outage?

While most stood and watched PG&E at work, I went off in search of someone who knew something. I heard a guy on his cell saying something like, "I was right here man. Just now. An accident. I've never seen anything like it." When he got off the phone, I asked him what happened and this is what he said. "We were working and we heard this loud boom and we rushed over and helped take this baby out of the back seat and the woman was completely smushed in the front seat and her head was cracked open and it was horrible. I've never seen anything like it. And the kid was so scared and the ambulance took him". (KSBY says a little girl who suffered major injuries. The Tribune says it was a 21 month old boy who suffered moderate injuries).

Just like that. In an instant. A child is mother-less. A life is lost.

I ended up at Borders, drinking coffee, and watching the people. Everyone going about their business on a Sunday afternoon.


Kris said...


It's so crazy... whenever there is accident on the road the first thing you think about it how bad the traffic is going to be or how late you will to be where you are going...pretty much minor inconveniences. But for the person in the car or the people that love them this could be life shattering... great post.


Clay said...

You may remember a time in 1983, just after I could easily have died on asphalt at the no longer existent intersection of Chapala and US 101. I was very lucky to merely get out with a torn-up ankle/left foot.

I know you remember this, as we got together soon after. I have to remind you of this, to help you to see what is.