Life lessons at an early age

By Calvin Carter
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 hospital confirmed.
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 Intrepid.”

Calvin Carter is the Public Affairs Manager for KDOT in southwest Kansas.

No comments:

Post a Comment