Monday, February 18, 2008

Après l'hiver, le deluge

After all of that snow, you'd think rain would come as a relief... and it does, along with temperatures hovering around 10°C. But after all of that snow, snowbanks on either side of the highway are acting like dams, giving the ever-increasing pools of water no place to run off in many places along the highway and making the drive to work this morning feel a bit like that log flume thing at Disneyland. It was slow going if you didn't want to hit an unexpected small pond at high speed and find yourself hydroplaning to an entirely unintended location.

Not everybody made it. I passed three accidents; at the first, a Honda identical to our old girl Yvette had spun out and was down the right embankment of the highway with her nose pointed plaintively back up at the pavement. (The highway is a divided highway, two lanes going in each direction.) In that case, a transport truck and two cars had already stopped to help and one guy was on a cellphone, so I carried on. A bit later I saw a car that had planed 180° and was now on the right-hand shoulder of the road pointed back at me. I stopped and made sure nobody was hurt and that they had a cellphone before continuing; they weren't even stuck, just somewhat shaken up and waiting to turn the car around and carry on.

Further along I encountered the worst of the three; a large dark sedan on its roof lying in the snow off the left-hand side of the highway. There was a small white car parked on the right hand shoulder with its emergency flashers on. I stopped there, too, and discovered a pair of young men who had been the first on the scene when the woman driving the sedan crashed. They'd gotten her out through a window. She was badly shaken up but didn't seem to be injured but for some scratches on her face; frankly the two lads who found her looked as shaken up as she did. They had a cellphone too and had already called police and were waiting with her. I stayed for awhile talking with them until the woman seemed a bit calmer and had stopped crying, which she seemed to be doing almost unconsciously as she talked.

All in all my last commute east was quite a bit rougher than I expected, and it wasn't even because of the dreaded snowstorm. Go figure.



Blogger Sherwood Harrington said...

What a miserable drive, ronnie, but congratulations on two counts: 1) that you're done with that awful commute, and 2) that you didn't have to deal with any bad injuries or worse, to others or to yourself.

And a much lesser comment: cellphones have transformed a lot of what we do, haven't they?

7:14 p.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

here's to our girl on the highway, dispensing calm and good cheer! way to go. in iowa, where they have horble ice storms, that kind of thing happens all the time...180 degree spins, going into the ditch on either side, slippin and slidin....scary as heck. takes a great driver to get through those conditions. brava!!

3:07 a.m.  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

p.s. "yvette" was what my husband and i called the taxi that carried our two oldest girls to country school. the driver was kindly, taciturn, and a bit french-looking. his name was tony. he'd open the passenger door for the kids, wait till they were settled in the back seat, then go around to the driver's side, attach a very stout leather strap to the inside passenger armrest and tie it firmly to the steering wheel. no way was that door ever gonna pop open in a spin or collision. this was in pre-seatbelt days. our girls were very safe in that taxi.

3:17 a.m.  
Blogger ronnie said...

Sherwood - you sure took the words about cellphones changing everything right out of my mouth. Er - keyboard. And tomorrow is my final commute home. You can bet I won't be tempting any fates.

M.E. Bless you - Minnesota or Iowa, you know just how it is. Our Yvette, a 1990 red Honda Civic hatchback, got her name because my husband, who bought her before we were together, thought she had the jaunty bearing and je ne sais quoi of a certain type of francophone gal one sees in New Brunswick. The first thing I did when I saw the accident was check the license plate to make sure it wasn't "our girl", who has been refurbished and who we see being driven around town by a UNB student. We were sure, at 17, she'd be scrapped for parts; instead, she's some other kid's first car (as she was Husband's). Nice!

8:38 p.m.  

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