Friday, March 13, 2009

Cheating Death on I-95

Let me start by saying today is a beautiful day. Sun is shining, birds are chirping, temperature is a nice 72 degrees, and I couldnt be happier right now. Why so happy? Well, its not every day that you see your life flash before your eyes.

This morning I woke up at 7am, hopped in the shower, got dressed, and headed on my way to FLL airport. Destination: Newark, NJ for a buying conference. This is my least favorite work conference as Im holed up at a hotel outside the Meadowlands for about 60 hours straight, maybe leaving for an hour or 2 to have dinner somewhere. I also dislike this show because American Airlines doesnt have any late flights out of Newark on Sunday night so I have to drive to FLL to fly Continental Airlines. Not a big fan of Continental but I guess things could be worse.

I like to leave at least 3 hours early when I go to FLL because its about 30-45 minutes away on average but you really never know what youre gonna get on I-95. I left about 5 minutes later than I wanted to but figured Id be fine if traffic was smooth. It was. This allowed me to do anywhere between 70 and 80mph with the requisite lane switching to avoid the assholes who do 50 in the left lane and expect everyone to weave around them. With the windows down and the morning tunes going though, I didnt mind. It was a nice drive.

As I approached the 103rd Street exit, I looked down into my lap for a split second to grab my phone to make a call. That's when it happened. I heard tires screeching and looked up to see bright red lights from the car in front of me skidding to a stop. Instincts took over and I slammed on my own brakes and went into evasive manuvers. The car in front of me was approaching rapidly and I was gonna nail it. I glanced quickly to my right, saw a small hole, and cut the wheel while my tires screamed from the brakes clamping down on them. Thats when I saw the reason for the accident. A car mustve collided with another car or just lost control because it was now perpendicular to the lanes and I was about to broadside this guy. Again, I give a quick look and jerk the wheel right, narrowly avoiding the car by about 6 inches. This whole episode happened over the span of about 5-10 seconds. I was now completely stopped, looking at the car who had caused the accident as liquid dripped from its undercarriage and the smell of burnt rubber filled the air. "Holy shit, did I really just avoid that?", was the first thought that entered my mind.

Once I realized I was fine and hadnt been part of this accident, I hit the gas and resumed my trip to the airport. I was full of adrenaline and my hands were shaking for a good 5 minutes afterward but my soul was singing songs of relief. Ive encountered at least 5 people since that incident today who have asked me, "How are you today?", and my answer has been, "Happy to be alive today!" every time. I guess there's nothing like a good ol' fashion near death experience to get me to pop in a blog post after a long hiatus. Its a great day to be L-I-V-I-N.

3 comments:

David said...

Congrats on your near miss! But, no thanks to German engineering?

Lindsey said...

that's insane buddy! i had a similar incident on 95 but i did side swipe the second damn car...it sucked

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