I’ve been working later than normal, on account of the nonsense, and was driving home a few nights ago after 1:30 am. I was on Interstate 81, Satan’s Superhighway, when I saw what looked like a dozen police cars, ambulances, fire trucks, etc. on the opposite side of the interstate. I was traveling northbound, and all of the southbound lanes were closed. And there was an enormous amount of activity going on over there, as well as a traffic back-up that went on for miles. Huh, not good, I thought, and turned up the Whitesnake or whatever.
But the next morning Toney asked if I’d seen anything while driving home the previous night. She said there was a wrong-way driver that crashed head-on into a tractor trailer, and one person was dead. “I did!” I shouted. Then we wondered, as we always do, how there are so many people entering major highways traveling in the wrong direction. And I added, as usual, my confusion about how people can’t just get out of the way of an oncoming car. “I think there’s a steering wheel in most vehicles!” I said, “Why can’t they just maneuver around it?”
Later, I read this article about the crash and it gave me a full-body shiver. Personally witnessing the enormous aftermath of it made it more real, of course. It’s horrible. I felt a little guilty for not waiting a minute or two, at least, before I goosed the volume on the hair metal.
The very next day, on Friday, I worked until 1:30 am again. And while I was driving home that terrible crash popped into my mind a couple of times during the 35 minute journey. But I was tired and annoyed and listening to an episode of Suspense, the old radio show. So, it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind. It just bubbled up every once in a while, and disappeared again. But near the end of the trip, as I was approaching my exit, some truly scary shit happened. And the previous night’s tragic event was front and center again.
I was approaching Clarks Summit, where I exit the Prince of Darkness Expressway, and… a small white or silver car went careening past me in the left lane going the wrong way! It was hauling ass southbound in the northbound lanes. If I wasn’t near the exit I might’ve been in the left lane too, who knows? And the part that really scared me? I didn’t see it until it was RIGHT THERE. For years I’ve wondered about that, but now I know. That guy was on me before I realized what was going on. The floor of my ass nearly fell out.
I’m sure all the color drained out of my face, to the point where even Jack White might’ve said, “Dude, you look a little pale.”
I mean, what the hell?? What is going on out there? I’ve been driving for more than 40 years and had never experienced such a thing. I was about to call 911 when I saw two police cars heading that direction with lights flashing, so I was reasonably sure they were aware. By the way, how do they stop someone traveling in the wrong direction on an interstate highway? How does that work? Regardless, it was very scary. Both of us traveling at 65 or 70, heading straight at each other? I’m going to take some possible liberties and say that it’s not ideal.
When I got home I quickly downloaded a police scanner app and tuned into the Lackawanna County Sheriff feed, or whatever it is. And I didn’t hear anything about it, so I don’t know. Maybe I wasn’t listening to the right thing?
Anyway, have you ever encountered something like that? I don’t recommend it. It’s the worst non-snow-or-ice-related thing I’ve witnessed on 81 since a guy a couple of car lengths ahead of me BLASTED a giant deer that seemed to just appear out of nowhere a couple of years ago. It looked like the car just went straight through it, and turned the animal into a blood mist. It all came raining down on my car, and the next morning there was blood and fur all over the front two-thirds of my Chevy Cruze. That was also a Jack White moment. Sweet sainted mother of Ross Grimsley!
If you have any similar tales to tell, please share in the comments. Yikes!
And I’ll see you guys again soon. If you’re hankering for more, I did upload a fresh episode of the podcast today too, if you’re so inclined.
Have a great day, my friends!
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