All I could remember was the pieces that flew in all directions when the pickup truck hit a another car and the angry face of an Asian man coming out of a yet another car hit by the previous car. I only remember those two things in vivid detail.
I remember a SUV, but I don’t know if that was the first thing hit. I know that the pickup truck was white. I saw that the all the cars were hit. I remember feeling relief that it seemed that nobody was hurt at least…and how I narrowly missed being behind those cars. I was late to work.
I remember focusing on the pieces. I remember my surprise at how far they flew. Were we going so fast in the stop and go traffic? This evening, I drove at a “slow” 40 mph wanting to inch up to 65 mph, but there were too many cars. But that speed can really cause extensive damage. Were we going that fast?
Miles before the accident, I remember seeing a police car hidden right before an exit. I remember telling myself to slow down, pleased that I already was below the speed limit and angry at myself for relishing the speed when the traffic slowed down for no reason.
I wondered if the police car would come. The three car fender bender was in a middle lane of the four lanes right at the end of rush hour.
I remember the man. He face was contorted. He was Asian and reminded me of a younger version of my dad. I thought about whether his English was fluent or was he just sprouting words.
I wondered what the driver of the pickup truck must have felt. Was it a feeling of despair, a feeling of surprise? Was he not conscious? Was he suddenly awakened by the fear? The fear of the cost? The fear of all the legal repercussions? The fear of all the drivers ahead of him—were they safe…and then were they going to take his insurance down? Did he have insurance?
All those thoughts ran through my head, but then I was late so I gunned it for my exit in less than two miles. I was impressed that I found a parking spot in the hard to park area in downtown Palo Alto and congratulated myself on the luck.
Then I ran to work.