the accident


car_wreckOnce upon a time —

[I have to say once upon a time because once I posted about an accident present tense and everyone freaked so now I have to make time scales really really clear.]

Once upon a time I was in this astounding accident. I was in a Saab headed down the 405. I was the passenger. A past love was driving. Traffic was slowing up in front of us and he stepped on the gas. I, sort of wondering why he was jamming the gas pedal to the floor and trying to kill us by slamming us into dead stop traffic in front of us, turned around.

[I generally give loves the benefit of the doubt.]

And, right behind us, there was this Mac truck not stopping.

We swerved into another lane.

The guy in front of us did not.


Cars were flying all the hell over. I mean “flying” too. The car that had been ahead of us took the impact so hard it was like a pool ball and hit three other cars and then everything just got surreal. The truck was veering and hit a cement side rail and kept going and the side rail was turning into cement dust instead of a cement side rail the dust all billowing as it just kept going like chalk in a blender not cement and cars were spinning and one went airborn upside down and hit oncoming traffic on the other side of that disintegrating side rail and then three of those cars went airborn and came flying back at us.


When everything stopped moving we were not hit. We were just sitting in a Saab in the middle of the wrecks of at least forty cars.

We got out and there were these people with a little kid and the kid was on the ground crying. He looked around six. Maybe eight if he was a big six. Or eight and a small eight. Who knows?

Something was broken, it looked like his arm.

There was a huge puddle of gasoline next to him and growing.


I said, Listen, you have to move the kid. And the adults in the group kept walking around in circles around each other ignoring me and I said, Listen, you have to move the kid. And one of them said, He is hurt, we cannot move him. And I said, He will be more hurt if that gasoline hits him and goes, pick up that ladder [there was a ladder on the ground that had been blown off a mobile home] and put him on it and move him.

So they walked in circles a little more and then they put him on the ladder and moved him.

Six inches.

And I walked away.


0 Responses to the accident

  1. ghiangelo

    so it’s true what they say about those Swedish cars..

  2. Such beautiful writing. I felt as if I was there.

  3. Jeez, you were lucky to walk out of that in one piece.

  4. max

    Who said I walked out of that in one piece?

  5. holy. crap. I imagine there were a lot of injuries. Devastating to see, much less be in the middle of.

    My son has to work rollover accidents up in Colorado. (He’s a cop now.) Bad one last night. I can always tell when there’s been something bad that he had to see because he’ll call here to see how we’re doing, and he’ll just sort of babble a while about anything other than work, while he’s driving home.

  6. Oh wow Max. Yeah, I imagine that you did *not* walk away from that in one piece.

  7. That was an intense retelling. Nice job, Max.

  8. max

    Oh Toni that would be such a hard job.

    Thanks, Valliant.

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