Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Details - Part One

These thoughts have been rattling around since Thursday... after two solid weeks of being unable to sleep while my OCD mind went over every possible scenario for court.

Here's Part One - the details of the accident that I haven't shared before. (Part Two is here).

Remember that tiny detail that Itty Bit had woken up with a cough? And my sister (for the first time ever) stayed with our little 22-month old miracle baby so I could work a half day? Otherwise that kiddo would have been in his carseat with me to get Mr. Daddy from work.

Instead, I was driving home that evening on a 50mph road alone with Mr. Daddy following behind me in his truck. He watched as a truck pulled out from a driveway to my right - directly into my path. I slammed on my brakes and began to swerve. For a split second, it appeared the truck was slowing and could possibly stop. Then suddenly, the truck gunned it and went directly into my path all the way into the left lane.

Thank God there was no oncoming traffic. We ended up off the road to the left - barely missing a power pole and an electrical box. Our vehicles were both totaled, and you know the rest of the story about injuries.

Here are the details: The crash was LOUD. The house that the driver had been leaving suddenly began to empty of occupants. Literally, cars were filling up and taking off. I'm guessing they knew police would be there soon.

My husband went to check on the other driver... a young woman who was kicking from the inside of the driver's door. She actually pried the door away from the frame and crawled out in the gap.


She then ran around to the passenger side and opened it (anyone else wondering why she didn't just crawl across and open the door?) She rummaged around quickly and placed something small in her pocket.

Mr. Daddy was the only witness who saw her. He asked if she was okay, she asked if the other driver was okay. He said he didn't know. He saw two guys coming across the road and assumed they would assist her. He left to check on me. The next time he looked up, she was gone.

Almost immediately, a correctional officer showed up and began directing traffic. Firefighters showed up next and started extricating me from my rig and transferred me to an ambulance.

Then a law enforcement officer from our own agency arrived to investigate. He stopped another vehicle leaving the house, and spoke to an elderly man who had come out and began taking photos of the accident.

Before the ambulance ever left the scene, we found out that the other driver had a bench warrant. How was she identified so quickly?

The truck was not registered to her. In fact, it was not even registered to the guy who "owned" it. The poor registered owner was a young kid who had sold it to a coworker a couple years before. The buyer hadn't paid up, so the kid didn't change the registration over. OUCH (yeah, my insurance company had to wade through that mess).

Still, how did they know who the driver was?

The tiny details of this accident continue to amaze me.

The investigating officer located a receipt in the vehicle that was timestamped to just before the collision. It was from a local pawnshop, and listed a mattress. Unbelievably, the pawn shop had taken a copy of her LICENSE - picture and all - for the pawn. Seriously, does that not amaze you?

The next several months brought more information - most of it simply Googled.

This girl had made some poor decisions. Her rapsheet had 24 listings - and she wasn't even 24 yet. She'd failed court-ordered drug treatment programs twice and did not have a valid license to drive. But the thing that upset me the most, is that this was not her first hit-and-run.

And with how slowly the wheels of justice turn, she had been in and out of jail even SINCE the collision with me, and no one had kept her there or charged her. In fact, she wasn't charged until nearly a year after the accident.

It was her first felony. The fact that I was injured and she ran, made the distinction.

I'm still muddling through a post about the actual court date. There were so many emotions that came to the surface and I'm not sure I can adequately describe what happened. Bear with me for Part Two.


Lisa said...

I am sure this is all so difficult for you to try to put in words. I actually sense all your range of emotions. I cannot imagine dealing with something like that. I was once in an accident that would have been a hit and run but there was a witness, so the guy stuck around, but he might as well have left, because he was a judge's son and they slipped a full admition of fault in with my hospital papers while I was doped up and I "X"ed it, I couldn't even sign I was so out of it. So anyway, didn't mean to turn this into a "well, this is what happened to me" comment, it just came out.

After it is all over, I will throw you a party if I can figure out how to get all the way across the country, okay? :) That post was slightly embarassing, but I am a "details" person and I decided to blog it to my aunt instead of email it to her. Oh well!

Still keeping the whole court situation in my prayers.

He & Me + 3 said...

Wow Rachel. This story is amazing. I see God's hand of protection at work. I can sense all of those emotions from this event too. I will be waiting to read the next post.

Foursons said...

I'm so glad you're going back to the beginning. I am right there on that street seeing everything first hand through your writing. You're doing an excellent job.

You'll do just as well with the trial. But take your time, you may need some extra time just to let it all sink in and separate from it a little.

But like I said- I am on that street with you. You're doing an incredible job of retelling the story.

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