Sunday, April 01, 2007

Near Death

Someone else's life flashed before my eyes today. But for the grace of God, I could have killed a man.

And it's no merit to me that I didn't. I wasn't driving particularly carefully. I don't know how fast I was going. Probably around 70mph. I was pretty far behind the folks in front of me, but that was just chance, really.

As it was, three guys on motorcycles had just passed me a few minutes before, and moved into my lane. My eyes were on the road, but I was just sort of hypnotized by the highway. I was coming over a rise, and really couldn't see the vehicles on the road ahead. I had just noticed a smell of smoke. Not exhaust, but something really burning. Suddenly I was brought completely back to the road be a flash up ahead, and a cloud of smoke and sparks.

I began to break, and as I topped the rise, I saw one of the motorcycles up ahead skidding sideways along the pavement, and a man's body stretched across the lane, rolling over and over and over with the wreckage of the bike scraping and sparking and tumbling along around him.

If I'd been even a reasonably safe distance behind him, instead of yards and yards back as I happened to be, There's a chance I could have run him over, even doing everything I could have to avoid it.

I drew closer and closer, coming as quickly as I could to a stop without losing control myself. As I pulled off onto the shoulder, I *thankfully* saw the man scramble to his feet and hurry off the road. Parts of the bike were strewn along the shoulder; most of it has also come off the road.

I sat on the shoulder for a bit, getting back my breath and collecting myself. I saw that the guy's two friends had both stopped, and several other vehicles too, so since I had my wits back together, the guy seemed to have the use of all of his limbs (miraculous considering how like a rag doll he looked bouncing and skidding along), there seemed to be no sense in adding to the roadside congestion, so I took the opportunity of a decent break in traffic to pull back onto the highway, get up to speed, and continue home.

Now that I'm here, safe at home, I just thank God it wasn't what it could have been. He was looking after that poor guy on the bike. I'm so glad.

No comments: