En route to the farm on Easter Sunday, I rounded the second ninety degree corner on a wet morning, jamming to Beyoncé, and I started to fishtail. Unable to regain control, my truck swerved off the road, down an embankment, swung around a tree, and came to a stop against a thicket of saplings. A quick body scan revealed that I had all my fingers and toes, everything could move, and, despite trembling, I was fine— how, I’m unsure.
As I rose from the wreckage, a very nice family stopped to help me; the matriarch was already on the phone with 911, having witnessed my epic twirl. She said in a slight drawl, “Are you ok? Oh, we were praying for you. Are you sure you’re ok? You’re bleeding on your forehead.” Indeed, I had a wound— but it wasn’t from this wreck.
In a completely unrelated incident just one week prior— an evening that did not involve any driving— I had one too many beverages. I did, in fact, fall and smack my little head on the pavement. This left me with an embarrassing story and scratch on my forehead; I’m 23 and get to make this kind of mistake. I’ve cut out alcohol completely. No, I don’t have a problem, but it certainly was a wakeup call: and now it’s a challenge to myself. The timeframe until I drink again is indefinite. I don’t know when I’ll break my stride of sobriety.
So, I sat in the family’s minivan while the Highway Patrol came. They asked, and with a heavy sigh, I was reluctant to tell them what I do for living. “But I swear I’m a decent pilot,” I defended myself. And like a true pilot, I’ve replayed the incident over and over in my head.What was the cause? What could I have done better? I’d driven this road hundreds of times, intimately knowing every curve and the next turn. The conclusion I’ve surmised is that I hydroplaned.
I wish I had some shocking revelation, a piece of truth gleaned from the accidents. But nothing major has hit me yet, other than the ground and some foliage.
As my grandpa so eloquently said, “Poo poo occurs.”
So my truck, while probably fixable, is heading to where all broken little trucks go— a place where Jesus will take the wheel.