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Jeff Watkins
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News Sorry for my lack of input recently. I'm sti...
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Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The One Where Chase and Donna almost Die.

The One Where Chase and Donna Almost Die

Sometimes I like to tell long stories. Sometimes I like to get to the point. Welcome to that rare occassion.

We almost died.


Well, as detailed in my last post our plan was to deliver a carload of our stuff to D0nna's mom's house in Jackson. After a good night's rest we got up at 4 and promptly left. Past Montgomery we were faced with seriously inclement weather.

The combination of rain and wind was blinding. It was darker than night. The only thing that could be seen was the tail lights directly in front. There was no place to pull off and we couldn't find a single weather alert on the radio.

It seemed the only thing to do was take it easy.

Despite the storm it seemed we were making great time. We anticipated an early afternoon arrival. Besides, as we had been figuring, the second "half" of our trip (the part from Birmingham to Jackson) was shorter.

We just had to get to Birmingham. Then we'd be home free. So I couldn't help but ask every fifteen minutes how far we had to go. At that point the weather was really slowing our progress. Fifteen minutes felt like an hour. It started to seem like we'd never make it to Birmingham.

And we didn't.

Over in the passenger seat, I had been nodding off. Uncontrollably. My head fell forcefully toward my lap. I pulled it up again, but this kept on nonetheless. This process had been going on for several minutes. Donna, though tired, did not struggle in the same way. Her head did not bob. Her eyes did not close.

But then they did.

Such weather has a hypnotic or trancelike effect. I blame the rain. It put us to sleep. It was a mere span of seconds that she slept. It only takes a few seconds, but sleep isn't what nearly killed us. Hydroplaning is. We would have hydroplaned even if we had been awake.

Apparently, we straddled the edge of the road for a short distance because we took out several plastic real estate signs. We hit a mile marker. That woke Donna. She grabbed my arm and screamed. That's when I woke up.

I heard her long cry of death and a terrible rumbling from underneath the car.
I watched as we went down a hill, up another, and tore passed a few trees.
I felt certain of death but grateful to have been alive. All I knew to do was comfort Donna.

We hit a tree head on. The engine stopped on impact. We were okay. We got out of the car. I reached back in and got our shoes.

By now the rain had stopped entirely. The sun was out. She was scared stiff and blaming herself. I was so thrilled that we had been spared I couldn't help but laugh. I sought to calm her. We got our shoes on and imagined we'd have to walk down the highway.

We didn't end up having to walk. The policemen got there. But then, that's a whole other story.

To be continued...

posted by Chase at 2:53 PM


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