I've been through some stuff. The 7-11 robbery where the cashier was shot. The bank robbery where the robber started firing his pistol into the air. The windsurfing accident... And I could go on.
But the 7-11 robbery, while it traumatized me to the point I can't walk into a 7-11 and I hyperventilate a little bit just pulling into their parking lot... Wasn't That scary. It was over too quick to be scary. It was more gross than scary. I was at the back of the store by the beer cooler, (where else would I have been??) there was some shouting at the front of the store, a
The bank robbery was... well, I hate to say it, but it was funny. We were all crouched under our desks as the robber fired his gun into the air... and all I could see was the past-retirement-aged receptionist's arm reaching up over her desk to dial 911. And I got the giggles. I'm sure it was nervous, 'I'm scared to death' giggles, but still... the experience just didn't seem That scary.
The windsurfing accident was a little scary. I remember being confused about why I was unable to move my legs and wondering where the big, giant fish that had been swimming near me was. But I was probably a little bit shockey, and truth be told, slightly drunk, and some fishermen rescued me fairly quickly... and it just wasn't That scary.
But the bus wreck. The bus wreck was scary.
I was sixteen and had only been driving for about six months. It was a cold, rainy November afternoon. We were leaving school and I had a male friend and my best friend's boyfriend in the car with me. Our school was out in the country and we had to take a twisty, narrow country road with a 55 mph speed limit.
I was doing the speed limit (I was new enough at driving that I still obeyed the speed limit signs, specially on cold, rainy days,) I came around a curve and started down the hill and could see the bus sitting at the stop sign at the t-intersection. We were close enough that I could see the bus driver turning her head and looking in both directions.... And then she pulled out. And being a big school bus making a right turn onto a narrow country road, she turned into my lane... And I was already right there... And CRASH!
I had just enough time to register bus grill coming at my face and to put both feet on the brake pedal and stand on it. I remember my butt actually lifting up off the seat just a tiny bit because I was literally standing on the break pedal.
Standing on the break didn't do much though. We were so close when the bus pulled out that I didn't even leave skid marks. We hit nose to nose. And a school bus has a really big nose! A really big nose with a really, really big grill.
|'69 Impala photo courtesy of 1969chevy.com|
Luckily I was driving a tank (a '69 Impala) and we were the ones going 55 down hill vs. just taking off from a stop. The bus absorbed the impact. It pushed the nose of the bus into the driver's area while tenting the top of the bus and all that happened to my car was a broken headlight and the metal strip that ran along the side of the car popped off. I have never loved a giant, gas guzzling, army green tank of a car so much before!
Thankfully, and amazingly, no one was injured. Shaken. Shaken badly, but not injured. To this day, I don't know how we all survived. How the bus ended up so mangled, my car so un-mangled, and not a single one of the kids on board the bus even got a scrape. And I'm sure none of us were even wearing a seat belt. (It was long before seat belt laws.) There was definitely a higher power looking out for us that day.