Saturday, November 18, 2006

I see a really bad motor vehicle accident

Yesterday evening, I was driving to the local feed and seed store when I saw a horrible thing. I was on the main highway when a truck at the intersection just ahead of me ran a stop sign and plowed right into the car in front of me, instantly knocking it into the ditch on the other side of the street. Fortunately, there were no close oncoming cars in the other lane. I parked my car on the shoulder of the road and went to check on the car in the ditch. A young woman, who kept saying "Thank goodness my babies weren't in the car" sat in the driver's seat, her airbag having already deployed and deflated. On the other side of the road, the driver of the truck lay face down on the shoulder, his feet sticking out into the highway. He apparently was thrown from the truck when the accident occurred.

The woman appeared to have a minor (so far) injury from the airbag, and an ambulance took the man away. When the police came, they didn't even ask for my statement; I had to offer it. One of them--a very young country-boy type, called the victim "sweetheart," which she told me upset her, but what could she do, given the state she was in, except make a face? I gave her my cell phone and stuck around with her until her husband came to get her. The car, which wasn't hers, was smashed up pretty badly, and there were police, fire trucks, ambulances, rescue trucks, and a tow truck milling about everywhere.

This is, believe it or not, a Katrina story. My community is not exactly one I recommend, given the plan to build a nine-food statue of Ronald Reagan and the overwhelming vote for Bobby Jindal for governor. But, with all its flaws, it has always been a pretty safe place to drive, and the drivers here have always been courteous. People didn't cut in in traffic, and they were quick to let another person in.

That was before Katrina. It turns out that many of our post-Katrina residents do not have a clue about how to drive safely or with courtesy. A lot of people have told me that they are afraid to drive around town now. The Lake Pontchartrain Causeway has become unsafe, speeding is common, and we have had some horrible accidents. The I-12 going from here to Baton Rouge is described as a driving nightmare, with people going at racetrack speeds and no state police to stop them.

I was next in line. Another moment here or there, and the red truck would have plowed into me. Having been run off the Interstate by a Waste Management truck a few years ago (the story is too long to tell, but it is a doozy), I am rather sensitive about this sort of thing. Katrina really has changed everyhing about our life here.

6 Comments:

Why are there no state police to stop them? Has their funding been cut?

By Anonymous KathyF, at 2:28 AM  

To clarify--I didn't mean "no state police," but rather, no state police who are doing anything about it.

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