Saturday, June 16, 2012

This past week has been full of highs and lows - unfortunately, mostly lows. Yesterday I was really looking forward to having the day off and spending some time with Amanda and Logan. We planned to go to the park by the bay and have a picnic. We headed out shortly after 10, and we made it about halfway to the park when we were in an accident. It was seriously the shitty icing on the shitty cake that had been my week.

We were driving along behind a car that was going about 25-30 in a 40 zone. We stopped behind the car at a red light, and all of a sudden the car starts backing up. Amanda laid on the horn, but we couldn't back up because there were cars behind us. She kept honking and honking, but the driver didn't stop, and rammed right into us. My first thought, of course, was Logan, so I turned around and asked him if he was ok, but I honestly don't think he even felt the impact all the way in the back of the van. Then I turned around to see the car ahead driving away, and Amanda hopping out of the van to check the damage and try to wave him down.

There were a few people standing around and they told us to get his license plate number, so we headed after him, and he pulled into the strip mall, so we followed him in and around to the grocery store, where he stopped to pick up his wife. 

Amanda got out and talked to the wife while the driver stayed in the car, and when he finally got out (or, rather, staggered out), we saw that it was an old man, and he had the nerve to claim (slur) that he hadn't hit us. ARE YOU F**ING KIDDING ME?! How far gone are you that you're driving in a school zone at 10:30 in the morning and stop at a light, back up, hit a car, keep driving, and don't realize it? The wife told Amanda what we'd already figured out by that point: he was drunk. She came over to talk to us and told us she'd been hoping for this day - a reason to get him off the streets, because he drove drunk all the time. 

I had really mixed feelings about that. I felt bad for her, but at the same time, if she knew he'd been driving drunk, a) why hadn't she reported him, even anonymously? and b) why did she get in the car with him when she clearly knew the dangers? He could have killed someone. What if a kid had been on the street and he'd hit them and kept going? What if we'd been in a small car rather than a big van that could absorb a lot of the impact? What if the baby had been hurt? (The answer to that one, clearly, is that Amanda and I would have ripped the driver to shreds.) 

The wife told us to call the police - not because Amanda had any interest in exchanging insurance info - luckily the only damage was a bent license plate and a bit of chipped paint, which my brother can fix - but because he was driving drunk and needed to be taken off the streets. Long story short (well, kind of), the police came and took the man into custody. I don't know what kind of charges they'll press - drunk driving, obviously, but I'm hoping more than that - reckless endangerment? Leaving the scene of an accident? I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and even though it was a scary experience, none of us - thank the gods - were hurt, but because of the accident, we helped the police get a drunk driver off the streets. I just hope he's never allowed to drive again. 

After our little misadventure, we had to come home and email the police officer a full incident report, so our 'fun day' was a complete loss. Now I suddenly remember why I'm mostly a hermit. And also why I don't drive. Amanda and Logan were leaving, I walked out with them because I needed a 'yellow' picture for the Photo a Day challenge, so we had a mini impromptu 'photo shoot' at the front of my apartment by the flowerbeds. We had hoped to take a bunch of pictures at the park, but this was better than nothing. If you saw my last round of pictures, you'll notice that I'm still in love with the macro setting on my camera, and I'm really loving taking pics of flowers. Maybe it'll be my signature thing?

Onto happier news - my aunt and uncle are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary today, and one of my childhood best friends is getting married. I'm really excited to get all dressed up and help my loved ones celebrate their special days. The weather's supposed to be nice, and I think the wedding is being held outside (and it's by the river), so it should be beautiful. I, of course, can't wait to take pictures, and I'll have a full report in the next day or two. My nutrition and fitness has been totally out of whack all week, so today is my last hurrah before getting back on track. I plan to stuff myself so much that my date for the wedding (aka my other childhood best friend, Suleena) will have to roll me out to the car at the end of the night!


Jessica S. said...

Oh sweetie, I'm sorry about what you went through with the accident. When it comes to alcoholics, I have a lot of experience with it. My dad is an alcoholic, and most of the time it was just at home when he would drink. But then there were a few days he would come home drunk. That just pissed me off.

I talked to my mom about how I wanted to report him, but the sad thing is, I had no proof. I was the only one who could attest to him coming home after driving drunk. Unless they see it themselves or have more than one person to say it happened, their hands would be tied. If I would call the police and give them his plate number, what could they do? Wait for him to leave home and tail him? They don't have the manpower to do that. I guess it boils down to, there isn't much that can be done legally. Not until an accident. Which is the most unfortunate thing in the world. I felt so guilty inside because I didn't want my dad to get into an accident, hurt himself or hurt someone else, but there was nothing I could do. It sucked.

That woman was wrong to drive with him. If my dad wanted to drive me somewhere and I knew he was drunk, I would refuse. I might even hide his keys if I could get a hold of them.

The only good thing that came out of this is that this man FINALLY got taken care of. It's sort of a blessing in a way. When my parents got divorced, I had a long talk with him about his problem. He listened, but didn't change. I don't live with my dad anymore, but I know he still gets drunk. I can only hope that someday he realizes it himself, or gets a rude awakening and makes a change.

On a happier note, those are gorgeous pictures! You're a natural. :)

SweetMarie83 said...

I'm so sorry, Jess. It must have been so scary worrying that something would happen to your dad. It's amazing to me (and not in a good way) how there are 'functioning' alcoholics out there who live every day like that, and it's so scary to think of the damage they could do - to themselves or other people - and the damage they do on a daily basis to their families.

I guess that's what the wife meant when she said she'd been praying for that day - she must have felt hopeless and powerless to do anything, because you're right, the police don't have that kind of manpower to be out on a hunch, and even though he was driving kind of weird before he hit us, we didn't think anything much of it, and most other people probably wouldn't either, so they wouldn't call to report it.

Thank you about the pics! :-) I'm having a lot of fun. I'm working on a collage of my friend's wedding right now - I found a few reasons to use the macro setting on my camera! lol <3