Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Blast from the past

This picture was in the news a couple of days ago. It drew me in. The scene looked familiar but I couldn't place it.

It goes with this news story about the crash in Florida on I-75.

I needed to look because this crash was similar (but worse) to the accident where I was injured. An interstate highway with no visibility. Vehicles just plowing into each other. The sense of control we feel when driving a car turns on a dime into helplessness, the kind that threatens our survival.

The accident scene was surreal, a dream where I am the spectator. I watch everything unfold as if it were a story. If things go wrong I can always wake myself up! Instead I'm stuck out there in a field, somewhere south of Bakersfield and north of the Grapevine. I think, this is how people die every day. Lives end just like this, in wreckage and fog. In a place without a name, among strangers.

On the one hand, you wonder why drivers keep driving when they can't see anything. Instinct tells us to stop. On the other hand, what realistic options are there? You're on a highway, so there is the need to keep moving forward. The trick is to hedge bets, move forward but move slowly enough so nothing really bad happens. It's not a good situation, and you would think we would have come up with a constructive response by now.

Why did the state highway people reopen the road? And in our case, why didn't they close the road in the first place? Highway people don't like to close roads. But, the road closes anyway when the accidents happen.

I feel for these people. And it brings back the memory of that day.

No comments:

Post a Comment