It is a dark, clear, cold November morning as I approach the intersection at about 45 mph. A semi is in the left lane about 50 yards ahead of me already in the intersection. I slow a little, look left, then right, and continue when the light flashes to yellow. I’m to close to stop, so I downshift and accelerate through prior to it turning red. Catching the semi I’m comfortable and maybe not paying as much attention as I should be. Then the morning takes a serious turn.
The car came from the left across four lanes of traffic from a side street. The semi and I were both over 50 at this point with me just beginning to overtake it. As the paramedics were working on the driver of the car she kept saying, “I never saw the motorcycle until it was to late.”
The semi driver, uninjured and mad, kept repeating it wasn’t his fault because the car never even slowed down and he had no place to go because I was there,
Wait; let me back up 10 seconds. As I pulled up even with the semi and moved to the right of the lane something screamed, “STOP NOW!!!” It was that little voice that I have learned to mostly listen to and when it screams I always listen. I hit the brakes hard, just as I saw the front of the car come around the semi. I wasn’t sure where it thought it was going, but it wasn’t going to get there. Somehow, after running a stop sign and not seeing a semi, she saw me on the other side of it and decided now would be a good time to stop. Slamming on her brakes put her directly in the path of a loaded semi without time for him to react. There were squalling brakes, a big crash, and the car spun around the semi, slamming into the side of it. They both were sliding toward the right of the roadway and I aimed for that opening.
When everything came to a stop the car was pinned to the curb, resting almost under the semi on one side and a tree on the other. I was pinched between the semi and curb, two inches from the front bumper of the car. Not even enough room to fit my fist between Petunia and the car.
I’m not sure where that little voice comes from, but this isn’t the first time I’ve avoided a major incident by reacting so quickly. The girl still doesn’t know she didn’t hit me and the trucker couldn’t believe he didn’t. The police kept asking how did I manage to avoid getting hit. Me? I was thinking I was going to be late to school and have a new post for my blog.