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Life, Rants

A near miss

Notice: This post contains absolutely no technical value; and is fairly large.  Once I started writing I didn’t stop until the last period.  The end result is a little chaotic; but I thought it was decent enough to hit the “Publish” button.

A big snow storm blew through Michigan and Northern Ohio yesterday, and more crap was dropped again today.  Today was also the day I came back to Columbus from my parent’s house in the middle of Michigan.  Its typically a 4.5 hour drive with no stops along the way, I expect to be slowed down a little bit due to the weather and make it in 5 hours.

The trip started out great, very little snow fall and the roads were clear with no blowing; I was traveling the speed limit for a long time.  A few miles before the Michigan/Ohio border, conditions changed drastically.  The snow was coming down thicker,  it was blowing across the road, and it’d gotten 6 degrees colder.  It wasn’t too much longer before a cop was parked along the side of the road with his lights on, alerting everyone to the presence of ice in the area.  I increased the amount of distance between myself and the car ahead of me.

Before the cop was completely out of sight in my rear-view mirror I came across the first of what would be about a dozen accidents along the freeway.   Then another, this one vehicle had spun around at least 180 degrees and was now facing the wrong direction, fortunately not in the road.   The traffic in front of me began to slow down, I dropped back a little bit, but the icy conditions triggered the ABS and I couldn’t drop back anymore.  Two vehicles ahead of me had the same problem and I was gaining on them quickly, I was able to change to the left lane but so did they; so I took the only option left; the median.  *CRASH*


Once I came to a rest I got out my phone and started to call my dad, I see the girl in the red car that hit me is already on the phone as well.

“hey…..yeah….I just got in an accident…..I don’t know, I’m checking now”

“I’m so sorry!  Are you okay?” she asks.

“It’s alright, I’m fine; are you okay?  Holy crap, I didn’t get hit!   Do you have any damage?”

“I’m okay. Yeah, I hit the back of their truck.”

I leave my car where its at and proceed up the embankment and wait for the traffic to clear before crossing the road.   The couple in the truck asks if I’m fine; I tell them that I’m alright and actually came through unscathed.  I’ll stick around for a police report, and then find out whether I need a tow truck to get out of the median.   The girl in the red car is talking to her parents now, she breaks down crying.  We all tell her it isn’t her fault; black ice is a bitch.

A few minutes later a tow truck driver shows up, none of us called him; later on I realize he was sent out to help get everyone’s vehicles along the right side of the road so its a little safer for the passing traffic.   Once he passes on that information he heads out to the next accident down the road on the northbound side.  A fire truck is on the scene at the accident previous to ours, so I head to my car to see if I can get it up the embankment without a tow truck.  The girl in the red car has already moved hers over to the right side of the road.  I make it up most of the way before my tires give and start spinning.  I try backing out and going forward again to no avail.

A fireman is walking up to my car so I put the car in park and get out.  Before I spin around he’s already got his hands on the back pushing.  I apologize for putting it in park on him.  With his help I’m up the embankment and on the side of the road.  He asks me if I was involved in this accident, I tell him yes; but I’m okay and my vehicle didn’t suffer any damage; I was waiting to see if I would be needed as a witness.  He tells me to wait in the car and he’ll find out if they need me there.  Not 10 seconds later he comes back and tells me to go ahead and leave, but be careful starting out; the whole road is a sheet of ice.  A few minutes later the passing traffic stops and I make my way out.

I’m home now, 6.5 hours later.   The roads sucked pretty much all the way home from there.  Out of this experience one thing really sticks out in my mind

“Man, its weird to walk across a freeway.”


About James

I am a Senior Developer/Consultant for InfoPlanIT, LLC. I previously spent over 7 years as a Product Manager for what eventually became ComponentOne, a division of GrapeCity. While there, I helped to create ActiveReports 7, GrapeCity ActiveAnalysis, and Data Dynamics Reports.


5 thoughts on “A near miss

  1. “black ice is a bitch” – I can totally relate.

    Posted by Yoopergeek | January 2, 2008, 1:38 pm
  2. It’s good to hear you got out 100% unscathed.

    Posted by Yoopergeek | January 2, 2008, 1:38 pm
  3. Well, you didn’t share this at the office today, and I’m glad you’re not hurt.

    But! (I had to put the exclamation there) Think the way Ohioans do and take your feet mats out of the car and put them under your tires to get yourself out (it gives you more traction). Once you’re out, get out the car, pick up the feet mats, and you’re good to go.

    (This is only a tip for future reference, as I’m sure more ice and snow is on the way…)

    My advice is: Be resourceful, it can get you out of trouble when nobody is around to help you.


    Posted by Pilgrim | January 3, 2008, 3:24 am
  4. Good idea with the floor mats, I’ll try to remember it for the future.

    Posted by James | January 3, 2008, 4:42 am
  5. FWIW: I knew the floor mat trick too… and i’m from Ohio, so maybe football isn’t your only downfall… OHHH BURN!!! JK

    Glad you’re ok. I got stuck in it too, only I had a van full of kids (including other peoples kids). My brakes spasmed a couple of times and my cheeks puckered… Friggen black ice!!

    Posted by Luc | January 4, 2008, 1:20 am

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