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The official reports call it "an accident with fatality". 

That's what I saw on this morning's commute.  It was a very foggy morning in East Tennessee.  So much so that I was watching my speed closely.  And it was still pretty dark too.  I had decided fifty miles an hour was as fast as I was going to go.  I was watching my speed closely when a guy on a Harley seemed to come out of nowhere and passed me in the left-hand lane of the four-lane.  I remember thinking he was going a little fast and even worse he was dressed in dark clothing.  I would guess he was going at least sixty and possibly more.  But my attention quickly shifted back to where I was going.

Less than a minute later I rounded a long curve in the road and saw a big ball of fire that appeared out of the darkness.  It was probably one hundred yards ahead of me.  I was puzzled by the sight and was trying to figure out why there would be a fire on the highway.  I began to slow and was soon on the scene.  A dark car was blocking the inside lane on my side and was nearly perpendicular to the roadway.  The ball of fire was the motorcycle.  It was on its side and laying in the median of the highway.  The body of the motorcyclist lay motionless immediately beside the driver door of the car.  The lady in the car was motionless as well.  I couldn't tell if she was hurt or possibly in shock.  The motorcyclist was not moving at all.  I quickly looked around to see if any other cars were there.  There were none.  But I was concerned others might plow into me or the accident so I came to a stop on the shoulder and turned on my emergency blinkers.  I was no more than fifty feet from the accident scene.

My brain was already racing.  I knew that it was bad.  I decided to call 911 rather than waste time by checking the people out.  I have no medical training and therefore it would have been futile for me to even try.  Other cars has started arriving on the scene.  The 911 operator seemed to take forever to answer and there was some kind of echo on the call.  For some reason I think I had to call more than once to get through but I'm not sure of that.  I have no idea how I knew the name of the road that intersected with the highway I commute on but I told her where the accident was.  I only remember her telling me that they were on the way. 

By the time I had hung up, a number of cars were at the scene.  I saw a lot people running to it.  A lady in another vehicle walked up from the rear of my truck and asked me if I thought we could do anything.  Neither the motorcyclist nor the lady in the car had moved.  I told her I didn't think so.  The fire was away from the car enough that I didn't think the lady was in danger.  The motorcyclist still hadn't moved.  I was fairly sure that he was killed on impact.

There were many cars at the scene now.  I thought I heard sirens in the distance.  I realized that where I was parked might give them the closest entrance to the accident.  I decided to move my truck so they could see that access route.  I looked over quickly at the scene once again.  There was still no movement other than bystanders.  Emergency personnel then arrived.

News reports since indicated that 911 personnel arrived on the scene at 7:18 am.  That's hard to believe because my cell phone says I made the call at 7:09.  It didn't seem like nine minutes.  It seemed like one minute.  The reports said that the motorcyclist was dead at the scene and the lady had been taken to the hospital but was expected to recover.

Somebody's father, husband, son or brother died in that accident this morning.  Their life won't be the same without him.  I'm very sad for their loss. 

Be careful out there.  Take your time.  Slow down.  Your family needs you.

September 29, 2008 in Life | Permalink


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Your Comments

Thank you.

Posted by: Alecto at Sep 29, 2008 5:01:11 PM

AMEN to that! Fog and speed do not mix.

Posted by: Jerry Critter at Sep 29, 2008 6:40:50 PM

Excellent story and thank you for the reminder that it was someone's family member and we do need to slow down and be careful.

Posted by: Elizabeth Stanfill at Oct 1, 2008 1:44:08 PM

These reminders should be put to heart and mind: slow down, control the gas pedal, and stay focused on the road. It's sad to see accidents on the road, when such tragedies can be easily prevented. Regardless of the vehicle we use, it’s important to adhere to the rules of safety on the road. That way, we avoid the risk of figuring in an accident on the road.

Posted by: Alecia Longsworth at Jul 2, 2012 6:34:49 PM

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