Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Friday, January 11, 2013

Rainy Night Hit & Run

On the Whole, I'd Rather Be in Philadelphia...

Well, I didn't mean to let a day go by before writing about this, but in truth, I've been napping on & off most of the day Thursday, and generally feeling just out of steam.

I suppose it could be  touch of the flu, but more likely it's the result of adrenaline overload from Wednesday night's (mis)adventure.

I got off work at 6pm, and had a few errands before heading home.  Had to gas the truck, go to CVS to pick up a scrip, hit a Redbox for some flicks, and pick up dinner.

I've spent a bit of time wondering about how things might have been different if I'd picked a different order for the errands.  If I'd picked the gas station on Clay Road instead of the one on Westview.  If I'd just used the Redbox at the CVS after picking up the scrip, instead of deciding to drive to the one at the Walgreen's because there was a crowd waiting to use it.  If I'd wanted a chicken sammich from Whataburger instead of the chicken sammich from Sonic. 

At any rate, just after 7 pm, I'm heading north on Blalock Rd. heading for Kempwood Dr, in the left lane.  It's dark, damp, and it had been raining all day.  There's  white pickup about three car lengths in front of me, a brown van in the right lane just ahead of me, and a little red Vespa-type scooter tooling along beside me.

As we got within 200 yards of the intersection, the brown van pulled into the left lane ahead of me, and the scooter kept running in the right lane.

Here's where things got weird...

The white truck either slowed suddenly, or went to make a left turn into the shopping center.  The driver of the van didn't like that turn of events, and went to swerve back into the right lane and go around the truck.  Unfortunately, the scooter driver was occupying that piece of real estate.

There was an audible *CRUNCH*, and the scooter driver bounced off the van, ran into the curb, then faceplanted onto the pavement and slid to a stop.

As I'm watching this, I had horrible visions of this poor scooter driver sliding under my truck, but I managed to get slowed down and got the truck stopped in the right lane, where hopefully any oncoming traffic wouldn't finish the job the brown van started.

As I'm scrambling for my cell phone and taking the truck out of gear, I see the white truck turn into the shopping center, but lose track of the brown van.  I'm hoping one or both will turn around and come back, but that didn't happen.

The scooter driver was out cold, wasn't bleeding that I could tell, and was breathing steadily. At first I thought it was a young blonde kid, but it turned out to be a grey-haired older woman.

I could not get my damned phone to work.  I kept bringing up the contacts list or the voicemail app instead of the dialer.  I finally took a breath, concentrated and managed to get 911 dialed.

As I'm on the phone with 911, a couple of people came up to the scene.  One was a driver coming from the opposite direction, another was a customer at a taco truck up on the right.

Both offered to go turn on my hazards, but I remember apologizing (for some reason) that they didn't work.  I do recall asking one of them to switch off the scooter's ignition in case the gas tank let loose.

911 seemed to take forever, but I heard sirens within 5 minutes.  That was a long, long 5 minutes, though.  I kept hoping the scooter driver would just keep breathing.  She hadn't vomited, and some young woman in the growing crowd kneeled down next to the driver's head to listen for breathing.

The young man that stopped offered to park behind me since he had working flashers, and by the time he got parked, the cops had arrived and started blocking off the road.  The ambulance was there a minute later, and I was questioned by the paramedics.  They were concerned the driver had been run over.

The EMTs got a backboard out, got her rolled over and transferred to the gurney.  They left her helmet on, but she was talking and said she wasn't in any great pain.

About that time the cops asked me to pull into the taco truck parking lot, and dismissed the other bystanders.
As I'm sitting waiting to give a statement, the young man who stopped to assist came over and thanked me for stopping and said what I did was commendable.  I appreciate that he said that, but honestly, what else are you going to do?  Only a gutless shitbag like the driver of the van would keep driving and leave someone helpless on the pavement.

The cops took my statement and got my contact info, and cut me loose.  As I'm leaving , the ambo pulled into the parking lot and stopped.  I'm not sure why they weren't already on the way to the hospital, but eventually I found out.

About 45 minutes later, I'm at the house just about to tuck into my nice hot chicken sammich when my cell rings.
It's the po-leece, and they want me to come back to the accident scene.

Ho-lee shit!  What's that about?  I agree, say I'll be there in 20 minutes, and head out the door.

As I arrive, it's just like I left it an hour ago, with the addition of a couple dozen lookie-loos, a few more cops and a Channel 13 news truck.  I get directed to a parking lot and eventually a couple of cops come over and speak with me.

Turns out the scooter driver was really badly hurt, might not live, and a charge against the van driver of leaving the scene and failure to stop and render aid might turn into felony manslaughter, so the cops were needing as much info as they could get.

So, through the story again, into the cop's digital recorder.  I had the receipt from CVS with the time & date, so we could put a general time on the event.  They also got statements from the people at the taco truck and a couple of other bystanders.

Eventually I was cut loose again, this time for good.  I haven't seen anything in the local news about it, but I've got the lead investigator's name, and I'll see if I can't contact him and learn what happened.

So, there it is.  My Wednesday night (mis)adventure.

How's your week going??