I had the scariest experience of my life last night. And this isn’t one of those things were I exaggerate to make the story better. Because it’s not good already. I spent Friday night up at Bj’s in Beaverton. Yesterday we just did some odds and ends. His parents came down for the weekend around one and we ran some errands, looked at cars, and went out to dinner. After dinner we watched Big Brother and then I decided I should go home before I got tired. And I wasn’t tired at all. I got onto 217 no problem, no traffic really, then onto I 5. I was driving along, using cruise control to save gas. There wasn’t that many people on the road, and I was in the middle lane. At this point I was in a really dark area, no lights, and since I was the only car for a while, only my headlights illuminated the road. The I saw an animal in the road and it all happened so fast. I KNOW that you are supposed to just hit, it’s safer. But it was only partly in my lane and I didn’t have enough time to think about exactly what I should do. There was no one in the fast lane so I just swerved a little.
Then I lost complete control of the car.
I steered the other way, and back again. I was completely perpendicular to the freeway and cars were coming. And I couldn’t get the car under control. I hadn’t wanted to slam on my brakes because I thought that would make it worse. Then I realized I had to, as it was the easiest way to get my cruise control off. So I finally went from doing 70 mile an hour fishtails all over the road to nearly stopping right in the middle. Then my brain actually kicked in and I got over on the side of the road. But I couldn’t get over to the right, because there were cars, so I pulled to the left. The fast side, the super scary side. I was just shaking, I couldn’t think. Then traffic picked up and all these cars were speeding by me. What had just happened? Was I okay did I hit anything. Then it came to me in a wave, what could have happened, that I could have actually died. If there had been any car behind me it would have smashed right into my driver’s side. My car is old, I don’t have airbags there. I started sobbing uncontrollably. There was smoke all over and I smelled burning. I was too scared to move the car. So I called Bj. He always waits for my calls when I leave to make sure I got home safe. I tried to tell him what happened, but I was crying so hard. I couldn’t remember how far I had gone. And there were no signs or lights anywhere. I managed to get to the other side of the road during a break in traffic.
I turned off the car and sat there, afraid to turn it back on. I had my hazards on. It had been like ten minuets since the incident and I was afraid someone else would do what I had done and smash into me. Then a mini van pulled up, and I was scared because it was so dark and I didn’t want to get like, murdered on the side of the road. But to my utter relief it was a woman who walked over to my car and asked if everything was alright. I was still crying and I told her about the animal. She said she saw it, that she had pulled over to get it out of the road. WHAT? I could never do that, that is not something I would ever even think about doing. But this saint of a woman stopped going where ever she was going and was going to get the animal. And she was gone for a while, then came back and said it was a "good sized German Shepard" and that she had pulled it out of the road. I wish I wasn’t such a blubbering idiot then. That I could have been more eloquent in my thanks. Her partner helped her wash her hands and she made sure I didn’t want them to stay and wait with me, then left.
I sat there thinking about this woman, waiting for Bj and his parents. I hope this angel has a fast pass to heaven. No waiting at the golden gates, just go right in. Because I have never actually met anyone who has done such a selfless act right in front of me.
Eventually Bj and his parents came, to my great relief. Turns out I’d gotten a lot further than I thought and was almost to the Woodburn exit. Bj checked over my car, then got in it and we drove to a gas station at the next exit. He said there were tire tracks all over the road, and the burning I smelled was probably rubber. He put air in my tires, but we don’t think I actually hit any thing. My mom and Bill came to rescue me, there was no way I was getting back in that car to drive. So Bill drove it back and my mom drove me. And I was home, and I was safe, but it will be a long time before I drive up or back in the dark again I think.
And I’m very glad to be alive.