Around 5:30pm I hopped on the local highway on my way to the high school basketball games that I was going to announce. The following is an account of what happened that evening.
Friday was a gloomy day with off and on mist that occupied most of the day. By evening it had stopped raining, but there was a sense of wetness still in the air. As I neared my exit the multiple flashes of brake lights caught my eye. I then noticed a truck about 10 car lengths in front of me the finally hit his brakes a little late and after swerving a little left he brought it back to the right towards the shoulder to avoid what I thought was stopped traffic. I was far enough back that I was probably doing about 20mph at this time I saw everything. That's when I noticed a parked car on the shoulder and the truck in front of me smashed the rear end of this car knocking it off the shoulder and on to the grassy area.
I had plenty of time to maintain my speed and check to see if anyone was in the parked car. I glanced at the truck as it came to rest, but my focus was on the parked car. I eased by and did not see anyone in the parked car so I went on. I thought, "Wow, that was a crazy accident."
After I got to the basketball game I realized that my emotions or anxiety level barely went up. My anxiety level had been tested earlier in the day at school with my last class and this event didn't even rival the blood pressure elevation from class. I told my colleagues at the scorer's table that I had just seen an accident.
This weekend I have reflected back and wonder how I should have responded. Should my heart have raced more quickly after having seen such a violent event? Should I have stopped to assist the driver of the truck? I didn't have a cell phone so I couldn't call police. It really seemed surreal.
I wonder what caused all the brake checks that led to this last minute costly reaction of this driver? I did see a guy about 100 yards up the road driving his 90's model Cutlass Cierra backwards on the shoulder. Or there was one of those orange roadside information deals. It could have been a car that entered the highway that may have cut someone else off. I guess I'll never know.