This is the police officer's sketch, scanned from the police report. The little boxes that represent our vehicles don't really convey the absolute 'horrific-ness' of what happened.
We were on our way to work, six-thirty in the morning, the sun was just coming up over the tops of the trees behind us. I was driving and Cindy was looking down, reading the last few pages of the book I dedicated to her, "The Runaway Apprentice." I saw the car on our right, stopped at a stop sign, waiting for traffic to clear. The car in front of us passed in front of her, and she pulled out - like we weren't even there. I slammed on the breaks, Cindy barely had time to look up, and we smashed the crap out of her. Her car went flying across the road and crashed into the cement block wall of a little store. I was surpised that I wasn't hurt, but Cindy said, "Ray, I can't breath. You've got to get me to a hospital."
I couldn't open my door so I crawled through the window and ran to see if the other woman was okay. There were instantly a dozen people milling around, all calling 911 on their cell-phones, but none of them would go to her car. I think they were thinking what I was thinking - the lady was surely dead. When I got to her, she had her cell-phone out, also calling 911. "Oh, I'm okay."
I went back to Cindy and waited with her. She knew something was wrong with her neck and wisely decided not to move at all. So the fireman got there, slapped a collar on her and eased onto a big yellow backboard (where she spent the next three hours). Then they put all three of us in the ambulance together and took us to the hospital where we spent pretty much the remainder of the day.
The rest is pretty boring, but I'll just leave this description with a couple of obversations: they don't let husbands ride in the back of ambulances holding their wives hands with deep concern, the first thing that popped into my head as we bore down on the defenseless little car was "I wonder if this will look like the car crashes in the movies", and an adrenaline rush can last more than five hours.
This truck was like a member of our family. We've had it longer than we've had most of our kids. We used to park by the lake and make out in it when we were dating. I thought we'd have it forever and I'd be able to give it to Chantze when he turned sixteen. It was twelve or thirteen years old (Cindy was it's first and only owner), it had 180,000 miles on it, it never had any major mechanical problems, and it's been paid off for almost nine years. Now, it simply doesn't exist anymore. Weird.
At least I don't have to worry about when I can get the time to change the brake pads that were starting to grind.
Goodbye, old friend.
Is this not the hottest accident victim you've ever seen?