A few days ago, I witnessed a car fly into the air in front of my eyes, spin over and come crashing down, not even a foot in front of my eyes. Debris was flying all around. The smell of burned rubber was thick and sickly. Time stood still.
I pulled over. Ran to the car, as did several other people. The deafening silence suddenly got louder, like someone somewhere turned the volume up. People appeared. 911 was dialed, Sirens. Firetrucks, police cars.
I gave my statement to a police officer and sat with a woman who had driven into the slow lane to avoid a tire in the middle lane, and had set off a chain reaction of cars swerving and hitting the black SUV, which then flew up and crashed down, before me.
That car had been innocently driving down the highway, going from A to B, minding its own business when, out of nowhere, everything was quite literally turned upside down. I cannot imagine the shock, the terror of the four passengers.
I watched as the firefighters used all kinds of equipment to free the people inside from the mangled remains of their car. I turned away as they were stretchered out.
What I could tell, though, was that they were alive and had been wearing seat belts. Undoubtedly, the seat belts and airbags had saved their lives.
Later that day, I read on a local news site that their injuries were not serious. Given the chaos that had unfolded in front of me, I was amazed but so hugely grateful these strangers were all alright.
You never know what’s going to hit you, folks. Buckle up. Always. Front and back.