Monday, February 27, 2006

A Strange Twist of Fate

It was Saturday night, and it was raining.
Diana and I were on our way home from a rare night out to eat at a sit-down restaurant. We stopped by Target to buy a digital camera, partly paid for by a gift card Diana’s mother had sent to us. All in all, an enjoyable evening.
We had just got onto Highway 17 Bypass from Harrelson Boulevard. I moved over into the far left lane, as is my custom. I misjudged, due to the rain, I suppose, and got a little to close to the median. Diana blurted out something, and I jerked the wheel to avoid going off the road.
That is when the car got out of my control.
I tried to stay in the left lane, but the car kept skidding over to the right. The more I kept trying to hold everything together, the more the car seemed to get away from me. I believe Diana was saying, “Charlie, Charlie…” over and over. I do not remember what I was saying, but there were probably more than a few curse words coming out of my mouth. Then the car started to spin.
There seemed to be nothing I could do. I’m sure there is some protocol for getting out of that situation, but I do not know what it is, and even if I did, I probably would have forgotten it anyway. At this point, I realized that we were spinning to the right, towards a wooded area. I seem to recall seeing a pole, or at least thinking that we were probably getting close to one. It is amazing how many thoughts can go through your head in a situation like this, almost all at the same time.
Diana was grabbing my leg and yelling, “Charlie!” I had my head down, and started screaming, like a running yell. I was getting ready to hit that pole, or a tree. I knew it was going to happen. At the same time I was thinking something along the lines of This is it I was also thinking This is like a rollercoaster.
Fortunately for us, we slid off the road, down into a ditch and into an erosion barrier us by construction crews. We also ran over a small orange barrel as we went off the road. The point where we skidded off the road was about ten feet from a pole.
The most dramatic part was behind us. We were okay and the car was okay, except for a slightly messed up license plate. Diana had her cell phone, so we called my parents to get a phone number for a tow truck. Police arrived, of course, as did a fire truck and an ambulance. I had just bought some new shoes earlier that day, and got mud all over them when I had to get out of the car. We eventually got pulled out. Then we went home, got settled, and went to bed. We prayed to God for protecting us and watching over us, and fell asleep soon after.
It is scarier to recall and reflect on the situation now than it was to actually be in the situation, because it happened so fast. What is really amazing was there were no other cars around us when we went off the road. It really could have been a whole lot worse.

12 comments:

bigsip said...

WOW!

God was watching out for y'all, my friend. We'll all say a prayer of thanksgiving for your safety, too.

Y'all be careful driving down here!

Jamison said...

"I had my head down, and started screaming, like a running yell." Amazingly enough (Or maybe not so amazing) I can picture that yell with very little effort... a very Mullins-esque type yell?

"I had just bought some new shoes earlier that day, and got mud all over them when I had to get out of the car." Aint this how it always happens? If I were in this situation, I would have asked the tow guy if I could stay in the car and would have unashamedly (is that a word) told him the reason why...

Larissa had an almost IDENTICAL thing happen to her the very day before we got married... no cars around at all either...

At least you didnt hit a mean black man who loved his car more than his own life and fill your ear with F words in ways you didnt know existed...

love you CAS, blog more, you are good.

Brewster said...

Glad you are ok Stubbs'

It is amazing how many things you think of and do in such a short amount of time when you're in a wreck.

Jamison said...

for future ref, i think you are to let off the brake AND gas and coast, turning the wheel in the same direction you are spinning...

Dont quote me on this... Sipper? Is that right? For some reason I think if anyone here knows the protocol, it is Sip... maybe because the word "protocol" is used in the military, not sure... And I have the strange feeling Jules has done this exact same thing...

bigsip said...

I remember from Driver's Ed class that the 2 biggest reasons for wrecks are 1. Overbreaking 2. Oversteering.

Jamison's right. If you ever start skidding, let off the gas and DO NOT brake or oversteer.

My driver's ed teacher used to take us out in the country on dirt roads and purposely put us into skids with the "teacher brake" just to emphasize how to steer out of a skid. It taught me a lot and was fun, too!

mullinz8 said...

I’m glad you’re alright Stubbs. It, as always could have been very bad. I think it’s funny that Di is saying Charlie and you’re cussing.

I was in a wreck over Spring Break while at FU with Jules and her sister. Once we came to a stop I yelled “Sh!t Fuc#!” just to let me know that I was alright and then asked how everyone was doing. I think it was the first time Jules sister had actually heard someone one use those words outside of a movie.

I’m glad you’re alright because we’ve got money set aside for Montgomery and coming to see you two in the hospital would tap us out right now.

bigsip said...

Hey, Don Knotts death is beating C&D's near-death by 3 posts...

We gotta do something to rectify this ASAP!

Of course, Don was a true master of classic comedy...

Jamison said...

Judge not a blog on the comments...

bigsip said...

True...quality, not quantity...

Diana said...

Yeah, I'm not going to lie. It was an intense experience.

The strange thing is, we had been stuck behind an accident the night before in seperate cars and I had been worried sick that Charlie was involved. When we got in the car Saturday, I though "well, if something happens tonight, at least I'll be with Charlie." While we were spinning, I knew everything would be ok, because we were together. It was after the fact I was shaken up by the whole thing.

It's amazing how many things run through your head afterwards, let alone before. I keep thinking about it. There are so many things I haven't said to people and so many things I haven't done. I'm so glad and thankful that life with move forward. I have a lot on my heart right now, but it's all 'what ifs' so I'll just toss it to the wind.

I don't remember Charlie cussing, for the record.

bigsip said...

HAHA...I kind of wouldn't blame him for cussing.

I've been in a few wrecks, too. The first one I ever had was when I was 14.

Yes, I was driving. My cousin and friend and I were all out on a Saturday night and they were drunk.

I drove since I wasn't drunk. At about 3:30 AM, I fell asleep at the wheel and ran into a hole.

The front doors were wedged in the hole, so we had to climb out through the back doors (i.e. the car was verticle).

Anyway, my parents thought I was out camping all night. It wasn't nice when they discovered otherwise...

Jamison said...

I was driving to work one morning from the house we live in now. Rife Range Road is just two lanes, one way each lane. With ditches and cows on either side.

I saw this Ford Explorer on the left side of the road coming out of a driveway, it was acting as if it was waiting for me to pass then it would zoom out.

I took note of this, and the huge dump truck heading toward me in teh other lane. I thought "If they pull out, id swerve in front of that dump truck, be flattened and he would think he ran over a skunk."

Sure enough, here I was going 55mph and she pulls out in front of me (no lie) about 30 yards from my car... as if I magically disappeared to her and the lane was clear...

Sure enough, that dump truck passed at the same time. I slammed on my brakes, locked my wheels up and came within inches of her bumper before she stopped to realize how stupid she was.

My passenger window was right next to her driver window. She couldnt hear me, but in a huff I yelled at the top of my lungs "WHAT THE F$&# ARE YOU DOING?????"

I was angry because I literally thought I was going to die if i was bumped into that dump truck...