Thursday, April 2, 2009

Gumptionista Under Pressure

The hit and run accident I was involved in was a few years ago on the 5 freeway in Los Angeles. I had pulled off the freeway to the nearest Starbucks, because the traffic was horrific, and I was easily looking at a two hour commute. My drink of choice is usually an iced coffee, but that day I really felt like something sugary and sweet, so I went for the java chip frappuccino. I no sooner got back on the freeway, and I was rear-ended by a large SUV. It happened so fast that I didn’t even realize I had been hit. The frozen coffee drink was now over my head, and in every crevice of the front seat of my car. I must’ve squeezed the cup when I got hit, because the straw ended up in the side pocket of the passenger door. Unbeknownst to me, the make of my car is known to shut down under impact, so I was stalled in the travelling lane during rush hour traffic. Because the person that hit me didn’t see me pull over, he assumed he was off the hook, and fled the scene. Everyone was honking and yelling out their windows at me, not realizing I was stalled. I lost my cool, swung my car door open, stepped out of my car, my hair still dripping in frappuccino, and waived my hands around like a crazy person and pointing to each one of the honking cars yelling, “Shhuuuttt uuuppp, I am stalled! I am stalled!” The vehicle behind me was one of those pick-up trucks with giant tires. A man about 5’ 5” jumped out of the truck to calm me down, and offered to push my car off to the side of road. Just after getting my car into the breakdown lane, it miraculously restarted, and I proceeded home.

Although 90% of the SUV’s license plate number was embedded in my bumper, it wasn’t enough for the police to identify. I couldn’t believe that in bumper-to-bumper traffic, not one person took the time to write down the license plate number of the car who hit me. From that day on, I swore that if I ever witnessed a hit and run, I would do the right thing, and almost a year to the date of my own accident, that’s exactly what I did.

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