Thursday, January 26, 2006

Jaywalking

Last night my mother and I were driving east on Alabama going to Calico Corners (a decorating/fabric store). Alabama only has three lanes (where I was anyway) - an east bound, west bound, and a turn lane. It was around 5:30 and rush hour traffic was in full swing, and we all know how that is. People are getting impatient, they are tired of the long lines of traffic and want to just get out of the stop and go flow.

Anyway, I was approaching a major intersection (either Kirby or Shepherd), but was still a couple blocks away. There was this lady standing on the corner waiting to cross the street and since I knew I wasn't going to get through that light anytime soon I stopped to let her by. Not many cars were coming the other way so she proceeded to cross the street and then out of no where this car drives by in the center lane and plows into the woman! She hits the hood, rolls up onto the windshield and then is thrown to the ground where she lies in a heap. You talk about freaked out! I put the car in park, get out of the car and grab my phone and head for the poor lady.

Several other people who had seen the incident did the same thing so who knows how many calls 911 got, but who cares. A cop that just happened to be in the area showed up first, then the fire truck, then an ambulance, then I think even more cops and emergency personnel showed up.

The lady was lucid (thank God she didn't land on her head!!) but in a little shock. Her hands were a little scraped up, but the majority of her pain was in her left hip and thigh (shock - that is where the car hit her!). She kept saying she wanted to get out of the middle of the street but none of us would let her. We just told her to stay still and wait for the ambulance to show up.

During this time the police officer was getting names and numbers of witnesses and asking them what happened. My version was that the guy was speeding and passing everyone standing still to get to where he needed to go. The driver's version was that he was turning left onto the side street. Someone else said the driver had his blinker on, but was going fast and when he slammed on his brakes he screeched the tires.. Someone else said they saw the driver passing all the cars at a stand still at a high rate of speed. My opinion, if he was turning - it wasn't at that intersection - he was going too fast and he hit her head on. If he was turning he would have hit her with the side of his car, not the front of it. But this is my opinion and mine only. Only the driver really knows what his intentions were.

There was one comment that the cop made during this time that threw me for a loop though. He said it didn't really matter what the driver was doing, the lady was jaywalking!! And this was because there was not a designated crosswalk at that intersection!! What? I was always under the impression that all intersections had crosswalks - painted or imaginary, unless otherwise noted. And that as long as you crossed there you were okay. Am I wrong? Is Texas law different than Washington law? Or have I always been wrong? I wonder what the final outcome will be. I just hope the lady is okay.

Everyone - drive, run and bike safe!! Watch out for the crazies out there.

3 comments:

Erin said...

HOLY SHIT!! I would have freaked out!

I always thought that if you crossed at an intersection, then that was good. If there's no crosswalk, then what the hell are you supposed to do if you need to get to the other side of the street? Was the cop going to give her a jaywalking ticket if she survives? SHEESH!!!

And why didn't you tell me about this when I saw you tonight???

Btw... This makes you the 2nd TNT person I know who witnessed a woman being hit by a car.

Cassie (TIGGS) said...

HOLY SHIT is right!!!!!!!!!!

I bet she does get a jaywalking ticket.

Dave Smart said...

owww. A horrible way to learn a tough lesson. Seems like someone would have to get a ticket. The most cautious time for me running is at 5am- that's when cars run right thru stop signs at cross walks.