A Life-changing Accident


Sometimes, when life’s going too great, there ought to be a curve ball or two coming your way.

It was July 2010, I was in summer school at the community college 90 minutes away from home by public transportation. Every day, I had to hop on the train and then a bus that went through the worst part of town. It scared the hell out of me. Then in the afternoon, I had to sprint to the bus stop the second class ended just so I didn’t have to wait 30 minutes for the next one.

That unfortunate afternoon, as I exited the train station and pulled my car into the left lane at the light to turn left, I noticed there was a long line behind me waiting to turn left. I pulled my car a little onto the street. I was already nervous that the light would turn yellow and then red at any minute when the car behind me honked.

I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw the driver glared me. I wanted to yell, “Hey, can’t you see the line of car coming my way? Don’t you know I want to turn too?”

Then he honked again and then I heard the car behind him honked and the one behind. It was like an echo in my head. It added so much pressure on me. I gripped my steering wheel tight and then the light turned yellow. I will make this light, I told myself. I saw my opening and then I stepped on the gas and turned my wheel.

Slam!!!

A car appeared out of nowhere slammed into me. The side of her car because what resembled a crumpled piece of paper. The driver didn’t stop, she just kept proceeding down the street. Heart pounding out of my chest, I quickly turned left and pulled into the nearest gas station. I wanted to scream at the driver behind me. “Thanks a lot, jackass, for putting so much pressure on me.”

I didn’t know what to do. So I phoned mom and she clicked her tongue. I couldn’t calm down. “I told you to slow down.” 

“But I wasn’t in a hurry!” I screamed at her. She thought because I was hurrying home, I got into the accident. But everyone else were.

Seconds after I hung up, the driver who hit my car showed up at the gas station. How did she find me? I peeked at her car, how did my car do that? I glanced at the damage of my car for the first time, it had just a small dent in the first corner. “I’ve just called the cops.” She informed me and now my chest was pounding even harder.

You didn’t need to do that, I wanted to tell her. I didn’t want to get the cops involved. It could get messy. I could end up in jail. I walked back to my car and sat down. I wanted to cry but no tears came.

A few minutes later, mom showed up and she inspected the car and began scolding me! I was the victim and I didn’t do it on purpose. You think I want to get into an accident? A few more minutes later, a police officer showed up and insisted on listening to the other driver, a woman with tattooed pierced face and arms and barely wearing anything. He believed her.

After he heard my side of the accident, he bent over his clipboard and began writing a citation. He handed me the citation a few minutes later. “I am citing you for failing to yield.”

“But I did!” I argued. “She appeared out of nowhere!” Mom pulled me back and I kind of glad she was there because according to my worst scenario analyzer, I could’ve gotten myself arrested for arguing with the police officer.

That had to be the messiest situation I have ever gotten myself in. I ended up to have to go to court, schedule for a bench trial, be my own lawyer, losing the trial, and paying my citation. All before I was 20. It also taught me many important lessons like look twice before turning left and be extra careful in construction zone. Although I am now in another situation in school, I don’t know how to explain it but I will get through it hopefully this week or the next.

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