The first accident I was ever involved in happened when I was 4. The
first accident I was in as one of the offending drivers happened when I was 8.
It was a perfect Sunday afternoon in Junction City. My best
friend/neighbor and I were racing our bikes up and down our street, Woodland
Circle and Mistletoe Circle. The circles made our street into our own personal
raceway. Bittersweet Road intersects Woodland and Mistletoe. Nobody drives down
Bittersweet, EVER. My friend and I have blown right through that stop sign so
many times, it’s routine.
Today, my friend pulled an amazing turn through the circle at the end
of Mistletoe, leaving me in the dust. I made my turn and pedaled as hard as I
could to catch him. He was ahead by about 100 feet when he blew through the
Mistletoe stop sign, crossed Bittersweet, and claimed victory on Woodland. In
an effort to finish strong I blew through the Mistletoe stop sign….
The next thing I remember is being thrown off a hood and landing on
the top of my head, on the hot concrete, rolling, and coming to rest at the
curb. I know it was the curb of Bittersweet because the walkie-talkie I had
clipped to my bike was still sliding down the road while I was lying on the
curb. I looked up to see my dad running full speed towards me, and a hysterical
woman crying while jumping out of her blue VW Bug. My bike was on the other
side of Bittersweet Rd., with the front tire rim crushed so hard, the spokes
were scattered all over the road.
I sat up, and besides the top of my head leaking, I was fine, the
The woman said she was changing the CD before the accident. She didn’t
see my friend ride across the street, so she didn’t slow down.
I was by no means a dumb kid--I was just a kid. I’m sure this woman
didn’t expect a kid to blow through an intersection on a bike, but I did. The
lesson I learned at a young age is to PAY ATTENTION and always expect the unexpected. You never know who could run out in
the road, and if you’re traveling 30 mph, you don’t have much time to react.
This accident could’ve easily been fatal, I was lucky to leave without
any injuries or lasting consequences.
Two weeks ago when I informed my dad I might use this story for my
blog, he said, “That lady wasn’t driving a blue VW Bug, she was driving a white
Calvin Carter is the Public Affairs Manager for
KDOT in southwest Kansas.