Saturday, December 18, 2010

Salvation by Catastophe--Accidental Insights

I'm sharing with you a blog post by a friend. You can start reading here or go directly to her blog.

We both have been reading and discussing the work of Flannery O'Conner lately, and that led to her insight into this tragedy.  

Salvation by Catastrophe

One morning this week when I threw my bag into the passenger seat and made sure my cell phone was turned on, I did not know that only 20 minutes later I'd be standing at the side of the freeway, my legs coated in salt-infused snow, staring down at the remains of a very violent wreck, wondering about the condition of the occupants.

It started as a normal morning, and the drive was uneventful, until something made me take note of a car rapidly accelerating behind me. (Now...when I say "rapidly", I mean: like a bat out of Hell!) There was an SUV behind me in the left lane, slowly creeping forward in a slow, steady pace, and I looked back again at the car behind both of us, it dawning on me in horror that the car wasn't slowing, wasn't braking...and apparently intended to pass me on the left in front of that SUV!!!

There wasn't enough real estate for passing!

I slowed and pulled to the right, still highway speed, onto the shoulder of the freeway just as the car DOVE between us, dodging from the right lane into the left, the SUV's lane, for the pass that ended catastrophically as the car collided loudly with the SUV's front end approximately at the point of my own left front fender (the front side panel of my car). The SUV went off into the ditch in an immediate explosion of white, the offending car went into a spin next to/in front of me and began to roll, giving me an intimate view of its underside anatomy while I braked hard and began to dodge left as the physics of the violent collision sent the car off to the right, rolling into the steep snow-laden ditch.

It was surreal as I passed, slow-motion in my memory, between the dual-whiteout-explosions on either side of me, narrowly missing all of the actions of the car that had caused this disaster.

In shock, I could see from my peripheral the SUV stopping, straight in the deep snow against the thin guardrail to my left as I could also see from my other peripheral the ongoing motion of the car, still flipping, evidenced by the spout of snow announcing, dramatically, the motion of the car and where it was headed, where it had been, where it was going.

Stunned, horrified, concerned, I carefully, not knowing what was going on behind me, stopped and pulled over to the side of the freeway, reaching for my phone, and called 911.

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