It’s not as bad as it sounds. Sound pretty bad though, right?
The bus lets me off at a place called the Glenfiield Viaduct. It’s a big mess of roads that let people on and off two highways onto a stretch of two lane residential road. I cross the street below an overpass and head down the road a bit to get to my Park and Ride. Because people are coming on and off the highway, they tend to drive like bloody maniacs. Crossing that road is an exercise in careful glaring at drivers to make sure they know I am in a crosswalk, I have right of way, do not even think of gunning it out of that stop sign until I’m across.
Yesterday, I was crossing the road with another rider. I’m one of those people that gets out of his seat way before getting to my stop so I can be off the bus first. Because, you know, people are slow and I’m impatient. Yesterday, another rider got up before me, and thus was a few feet in front of me when I stepped onto the street. I glanced over my shoulder, saw no one at the stop sign behind me, and started across.
That’s when a silver SUV came around the corner without slowing, hit the other rider straight on in the left leg and struck me in the left elbow and ran over my foot. The other rider was knocked off his feet and onto the road. I was simply spun around. Thankfully the driver stopped – not that he had much choice; a hit and run would have meant driving over the man laying in front of his car – and immediately called 911. I sat down with the other victim and talked with him and made sure he was ok. I asked if there was anything I could do for him. He told me he needed to call his wife to tell her she needed to pick up his daughter. It’s amazing how, even when badly injured, a parent’s first thought is to their child.
What followed was what you’d expect. Local police showed along with an ambulance. The EMTs immediately went to work on my fellow bus rider after making sure that my elbow wasn’t shattered. While the EMTs lifted the injured man onto a stretcher, the local police waited with me for the state police (since the accident happened on a state road). As my fellow rider and victim was being rolled toward the back of the ambulance he smiled, thanked me for sitting with him, and shook my hand. That moment, those few seconds of shared kindness and experience, remains clearest in my mind of everything that happened.
The Statie arrived, took statements, got back into his car and spent what felt like thirty hours writing up his police report. When he finished, he handed me the legal-sized, typed report – do they have printers in police cars? ’cause that’s crazy! – and said, “Normally I’d tell you to call your car insurance company, but you weren’t in your car, so…”
I’m not sure how the other man is. I haven’t heard, and don’t know when and if I will. As for me: my elbow hurts. Mostly it looks bruised (in two places, on opposite sides of my elbow) (no, I’m not exactly sure what happened in those microseconds, but I think my elbow may have hit the car and the side view mirror) and hurts when I bend it all the way. Ice and naproxin has kept the swelling down, at least. I have a doctor’s appointment this afternoon where I’ll get the elbow checked out and I should know more after that.
At the time of the accident it didn’t occur to me that on any other day it would have been me at the front of the line. Me in the direct path of that SUV. Me being lifted onto a stretcher. The randomness of that coincidence is going to stay with me long after my elbow heals.
To everyone who showed concern and checked in on me: Thank you. It meant a great deal.