Thursday, September 8, 2011

Driving Fear - Part 3


The Garbage Truck

The year was 1986. My mom, my brother Tim and I were on our way to the airport to pick up my dad. I was sitting in the front passenger seat, and Tim was in the back. Nearly to the airport, we were stopped at a traffic light in what is now the city of SeaTac (so named because it's between Seattle and Tacoma), and there was a garbage truck ahead of us. The light turned green, and nothing happened. The car ahead of the garbage truck was not moving. (I forget if it was stalled or the driver had decided to get out while the light was red.) So it was that the garbage truck with its high rear bumper started to back up. My mom laid on the horn, but the driver continued to back up, not hearing. We couldn't back up because there were cars behind us. The truck was folding our hood, and my mom and I sat there terrified, praying desperately. My poor brother was sitting in the back seat with visions of being the only survivor. It wasn't until our windshield shattered that the truck driver finally heard and stopped...within a few inches of crushing us. He got out and came back, observing that it was "obviously my fault." Once he pulled forward again, we found that the car was (thankfully) still driveable. The two vehicles pulled into the parking lot of the nearby Red Lion Inn, where my mom and the truck driver spoke with the police. The officer dismissed the other driver, and he got out his ticket pad. He informed my mom that this was his least favorite part of his job, but that he was going to have to give her a ticket for speeding! Why he didn't bother to get the facts first, I may never know. She said, "But sir, I was sitting still!"

"You mean he backed into you?!" he said. When my mom answered in the affirmative, the officer managed to catch the truck driver, who came back and corroborated the story. When he looked at the other driver's license, he wished him a happy birthday. I'm guessing that was not the driver's favorite birthday ever.

After we were dismissed, we continued on to the airport and picked up my dad, and our next stop was the repair shop. We liked the rental car better than our normal car. :-)

Some things I learned from this experience were that God is there, He hears our prayers, and He is our protector. Any time we are in a scary situation, we can pray to Him, and He will hear. Even when the driver ahead of you can't hear your horn.

Also, we should never jump to conclusions. There are better places to jump.

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