While driving home from Kentucky on Sunday I was chatting with Nadine when I suddenly noticed police lights behind me. Since my natural tendency is to slam on the brakes regardless of what speed I’m traveling, I slammed on my brakes and watched him in my rearview mirror.
I looked up in time to notice the highway had come to a complete standstill and I had a couple seconds to take in the scene, notice the cars backing up to cut across in the median, and do the same myself. As I headed for the exit I noticed I happened to be at my favorite outlet mall.
I made a couple jokes about it on Facebook but resisted the urge to shop. Instead I ate lunch, checked my nifty phone GPS, figured out a way around what I figured must have been an accident, and went on with my day.
Monday afternoon my coworker mentioned that her parents got stuck in that same traffic for several hours, then found an article describing what happened. I’m pasting the entire thing here because the website doesn’t link specific articles, but I found it on whmi.com.
Rollover Accident On Sunday Called A Case Of “Road Rage”
6/21/10 – A rollover accident involving two vehicles on Sunday along I-96 near Fowlerville Road snarled traffic for hours. The Livingston County Sheriff’s Department says 29-year-old Blair Bradford of Stockbridge was following a 2001 Ford Explorer driven by 38-year-old Eric Figueras of Perry. Preliminary investigation shows that Bradford was traveling behind Figueras in the left lane of westbound I-96 when Figueras tapped his brakes several times and then sped up. Bradford also sped up and says Figueras then hit his brakes hard, causing him to swerve to avoid hitting her. Bradford lost control of his vehicle and subsequently struck Figueras, causing him to also lose control. Both vehicles overturned before coming to rest.
Figueras and his passenger, 48-year-old Gina Bullen of Hartland, were not wearing their seatbelts. Bullen was seriously injured and was transported to the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor. She was reportedly paralyzed at the scene. Sheriff Bob Bezotte tells WHMI that this is a case of road rage that resulted in a serious injury to someone that could have been avoided. Alcohol is not believed to have played a factor and the crash remains under investigation. Figueras was cited for reckless driving. (JM)
After reading the article I realized that I saw these vehicles not five minutes earlier. They were driving so close to each other and so fast that I assumed they must know each other and were just screwing around. They weaved around cars, cutting everyone off, and I couldn’t believe how close they were to the other cars.
I’m telling you this as a reminder to be safe and remember that while we all get frustrated with other drivers, the consequences are too great to risk reacting the way we often want to.