Close call, November 29, 2005
I had a brush with death yesterday afternoon. Not really, I guess, but it could have been.
Jaywalking across South Main Street shortly before 4 p.m. to get to the ceremony dedicating the butterfly statue (mentioned elsewhere on this site), I had a close call.
I cross the southbound lane of Carolina Highway just before the overpass at the rear of our building and in front of the Main Street Jazz Club. I stood on the narrow, concrete median strip to wait the passing of the southbound traffic.
I saw a landscaping truck coming. It was a big Ford F-350 like vehicle pulling one of those cages on a trailer loaded with landscaping equipment. He was in the right lane closes to me. I noticed his tires were only inches from the median strip.
&uot;Gee, I sure hope he sees me and gets over a little,&uot; I thought.
He did not. I watched in horror as the back left tire of the trailer struck the medium strip about 20 yards from me. The jolt caused a wheelbarrow in the back of the trailer to come flying out, right at me. It bounced along the median strip toward me.
My life started flashing before me. Jeez, it sure had a lot of beer in it.
Anyway, I panicked and jumped back into the northbound lane without even looking. If a car had been coming, it wouldn’t have been pretty.
Mercifully, the wheelbarrow came to a stop before hitting me. A crowd of about a dozen people gathered across the street for the ceremony witnessed the entire thing. As I stood there in a little bit of shock, Mayor Bobby Ralph was motioning for me to get the wheelbarrow out of the roadway. I passed it to the driver, who had stopped to come and pick it up, without a &uot;thanks,&uot; or even a &uot;sorry for almost killing you.&uot;
While the incident did not have any kind of profound effect on me, it sure makes you realize how quickly circumstances can change. When you’re staring down an out-of-control wheelbarrow, you realize how fleeting life on this planet is. It also made me realize those crosswalks are there for a reason and from now on I’m going to use them.