On last Sunday night headed north, we witnessed a really bad car crash 12 miles south of Armstrong. A 21 year old guy lost control of his vehicle (drinking) and somehow survived after cruising across the lanes in front of us. He was driving south, we north and looked like a shooting star across the highway. Time for a median to be placed on that section of highway. We missed him by about 100 meters or 10 seconds (close anyway), I backed up past the smashed up car that had rolled over several times and pancaked endo-endo. Breathed deep and and put the blinkers on thinking no one could have possibly survived. I was already shaking.
Both of us couldn't believe it when the driver climbed out of his drivers-side door and started heading towards the road across the shitty snow. I had to stop him from coming onto the highway and didn't have time to get my warm clothes on or grab our first aid kit which I had initially planned to do.
911 put Mark on hold for a couple minutes and I calmed the guy down - told him to pull up his pants and tried to keep him from getting more agitated. He had also lost his shoes. He knew he was in big trouble but in shock too. A ham radio guy pulled up and talked to him real good and then it was two against one and he accepted his fate. We gave him our coats and sat him on a stack of newspapers, but he still thought he needed to sit down he was so messed up. Finally the emts showed up and one of the women said, "looks like you got kinda bumped up, can you follow me into the ambulance?"
The car was smashed end to end and flattened like a potato. It was like a hollywood movie. Ï wanted to take a picture, but decided against it. Kinda like taking a picture in a sacred place, just to be remembered by our memories. The RCMP took our statements and contact info and sent us on our way. Praise the public servants who help public health and safety. I just hope the guy finds his purpose in life.
For us, we headed on our way, grateful for our lives and a renewed purpose in life. To enjoy every minute, cause it's just seconds and inches depending on where and what we're doing and I don't think we get to choose our time. Personally, I would much rather deal with avalanche risk and being out in the woods than driving on highways, but I do a lot more driving on highways than I'd like to. My plan is to keep working on that problem.
We drove by yesterday the crash site on our way home and the car was gone and everything looked back to normal. We felt pretty lucky. We must have had a string of prayer flags flying overhead the highway that night...