Today I reaffirmed a resolution I made 30 years ago, never to Drink and Drive. As the saying goes ” a wise man knows when to come in out of the rain”. It was December 1988 I went to a Christmas party the company spared no expense on the Lavish catering, the Booze flowed like a River and I swam in it like a Fish. What I didn’t take into consideration was driving home 180 miles from N.Y. to Pennsylvania. In over 50 years of Driving I always ran with the leaders, so that means I covered that 180 miles swiftly. Thank God I didn’t kill anyone or myself. I made it home in one piece, slept it off woke up the next Day with a Hangover which was not the biggest headache. The big headache was not finding my car only driven nine thousand miles in my Driveway, I wasn’t that drunk that I didn’t know that I drove it home.
I decided to walk down the Hill looking for my car four or five houses down the road my car was parked in someone’s Driveway. I approached the car in the Yard when the Homeowner came out and said hello, he informed me that I was so Drunk I tried to break into his House when my key didn’t fit the Lock on his front door. He informed me that if he didn’t recognize me he would have shot me. Now I ask you is that a wake-up call or what, that was the last time I drove while being intoxicated. This should not have happened considering that at seventeen I was a passenger in a car that two Drunks were racing each other at speed of over 100. Also knowing that my friend Precious died at nineteen when the car she was a passenger in hit a Lightpole the Driver was Drunk he lived.
I am hard on myself when I do Dumb things even though it happened 30 years ago, so I have no respect for habitual Buzz or drunk Drivers. If you are alive and reading this be happy because I am here to tell you that a Cat only has nine lives, if you don’t expire yours, then someone else. Over the years I have worked with two people that should have both be in a Hospital for Chronic Alcoholism yet they were very good at what they did for a living. One problem if they did not have a shot before their Coffee they would be sick as in ill.Thank God they used Public Transportation. What I am saying is Driving intoxicated is Russian Roulette same as Smoking cigarettes it’s a matter of when and how. When I drive 1100 miles in good time stopping every 3 or 4 hundred miles I appreciate what it means to be Sober.
Once I had a Cold, listening to old wives Talk that a shot of Brandy in hot Tea was good, I might have finished my Tea but my rear Bumper came home in the backseat. When that happened I was an accomplished Drinker, how it choose to affect you is solely up to your Body Chemistry. If you have never experienced the feelings of being intoxicated while being behind the wheel, don’t even think it. It is an absolute Jackass way of Dying in mangled Steel and Glass rearranging your Body Structure. For weeks I have been debating that it was time that I write something on Drunk Driving, the events of 11/15/18 produced this Blog. It was one O’clock in the afternoon traveling a strip of Road posted 45 MPH, entering this road is difficult because the Buildings are right up to the intersection, making visibility difficult.
A Truck got to the intersection first, it’s standard operations for a Truck to swing wide while making turns. A car was second to arrive at the intersection, Being impatient the Driver of the car squeezed to the right of the Truck. The opposing traffic was steady so they both had to wait, out of the blue a Bicyclist joined the fray to the right of the impetus Driver in the car triple Jeopardy was brewing. Observing all this twenty feet from this fateful intersection, as soon as I passed I glanced over my shoulder to see the Bicycle mangled under the car’s front right tire and the rider laying on the grass five feet from his Bicycle. This poor rider learned a painful lesson about being patient if the Driver of the Truck was as impatient as the other two the outcome would have been catastrophic.
That was the start of my Day, coming home twelve Am was the real catastrophe stopping for the light at Lake road and Tarpon spring Blvd was like any other stoplight. What happened after the light changed was straight out of the Movies, a Truck five cars in front of me suddenly gunned its engine veered in front of me trying to pass in the right lane, went off the Road then back onto the Road then immediately flipped and rolled five times into the woods. I immediately pulled over put on my flashing lights on and ran towards the vehicle resting on it’s Roof. My first instinct was that they were all dead, as soon as I got to the Vehicle a Man and a Woman crawled through the damaged Windows on each side of the vehicle screaming frantically.
Being trained how to handle emergency situations I approached the vehicle cautiously evaluating imminent danger of the Vehicle bursting into flames. After determining that it was safe to get closer to the Vehicle I yelled out ” is there anyone else in the Vehicle. It seemed that I asked the lifesaving question, injured and bleeding the the Woman lunged back into the Vehicle on her Belly crawling into the cab and exiting with a Car seat with a two year old in it. Within two minutes of all of this there wasn’t a sound made by the infant, as the Mother’s body made it halfway out of the upside down Truck she handed me the Baby, that was the first sign of Life from the Baby when it cried.
Still in control a foot away from the Truck I smelled Gas, other Drivers who came to help started to gather, I pulled the Mother and Child fifteen feet from the Vehicle and ordered everyone away from the Vehicle called 911 and resumed my trip home. From an accident investigation point of view, Drugs or Alcohol was to blame for this Catastrophe. Can you imagine the nerve of this Driver with an infant in the Vehicle, bad enough that you don’t value your life but what of the rest of us. As I have said before its not a matter of if but when and how, as long as you continue to Drink and Drive