First... and *most* fortunately - *THAT* is not my van. Phew...... right?
Second, we were headed down a busy road that has a 45 mile an hour speed limit and it drives directly into the sunset..... this is a long and wide road that is 6 lanes wide and yet *STILL* has a pedestrian crossing where there isn't a stop light, but rather a stretch of white lines across the road .... kind of like Abbey Road only without super talented muscians typically walking across the road in Oregon... hahahaha.
Anyhow ... traveling at 45 miles per hour, headed into the sun, I first see a man, all dressed in black and wearing a black fedora hat staggering across the white lines... above are the yellow "stop" for a pedestrian crossing lights that are flashing and flashing - but most of all..... all I can see rising from the asphalt is .... smoke. Blue... thick... smoke.
I can make out a large, green F250 truck... the super huge kind of truck that's extra tall and hard to climb up into.... only now it's about four feet shorter at it's front than it should be. The owner is nearly falling out of the driver's side holding a sloping, clearly painful shoulder.....
We're the second car behind the truck and the car in front of me just.... drives off. I pass the truck and pull over, turn on my hazard lights and tell the Bubbie to call 911. I just start walking.....
At first I can't see the car that got hit... and then I do - it's a gold-ish van with a blown out back window and along the road I see a small boys shoe....
Sh*t.... a small, slip-on shoe with a Lighting McQueen smiling up at me with his obnoxious eyes. I can make out two car seats through the hole where tinted safety glass *used* to be.... and then I see several small children, each one with tears streaming down their faces and screaming in fear as they make their way around the van to where I am on the side of the road .... turns out that their side door to the van was crunched closed.
I take the older girl and sit her down on the grass looking her over for any bleeding of signs of having been 'knocked out' and I check the older brother... he's worse for wear with visible 'burns' from the seat belt around his neck and behind his ear, but both are alert... scared, but alert.
Their parents make their way over each carrying a younger boy and a younger girl who aren't crying.... they had been sleeping upon impact and aren't quite sure what is going on..... what a blessing.
Sitting on the grass, I'm picking glass out of the little girl's hair and rubbing her back while we wait for an ambulance, police, etc.... then an EMT shows up - he's off duty and in his regular clothes.... but the Mom doesn't know who he is and she starts screaming at him about hitting her until we reassure her that he wasn't driving the truck....
So, I leave the kids with the trained EMT and head over to the driver of the truck. I ask him for his name and insurance company and then I tell him the police are on their way and to wait with his truck as the woman he hit iis extremely upset and doesn't want to speak to him. He's pretty shaken up and agrees (because even this far away and over the traffic and sirens, he can hear her screaming obscenities... lol - can't say I blame her though.....)
The police came and I gave my statement about seeing the pedestrian in the cross walk and the smoke and cars... I tell the fire department that from what I saw the kids were all alert and awake shortly after impact (i.e. no one passed out) - and there was no blood, etc. They tell the woman that she has to get her property out of the van - that it has to be towed.... she just kind of stares at me, surrounded by crying children and holding her youngest son who is now inconsolable.
I went to my car and dug around to find a bag and came back with a mesh laundry hamper and I started going through her car, taking out her purse, lighters, papers from the glove box, sunglasses and toys and books and clothes.... the other Lighting McQueen shoe.
The little girl is upset about her toys - trapped behind the door that is crushed shut I have to crawl around the middle seat and lean waaaaaay over the second car seat (which, if we all remember is rather hard to do at my extremely large, mamouth size.... bwahahahaha) - and then I set my hand down onto to car seat for balance and it's wet.
I realise that the child sitting in that seat had wet the seat..... in fear and panic and a moment of sheer terror, this poor, sweet child... wet the seat.
I finished picking up all the toys and going through everything I could find and save for them and took it over to the Mom who was super grateful.... I reminded her that she CANNOT use those car seats - that they HAVE to be replaced..... she say's she has friends on the way to help them and they'll buy some more that night.
I finish up with the police, take pictures of the scene (*note* when in a car accident, pictures are your BEST FRIEND - it proves the children were in car seats, that there was a cross walk, etc..... ) and as I head back to my car where The Boy is *very* worried about the kids who were in the van I'm reminded *again* that there ARE worse thing than can happen....
That family *will* need a new van for sure - and two new car seats.... but how amazing that fully stopped for a pedestrian - after being hit at 45 miles per hour - the *only* thing she'll need is a new van and car seats - because she won't be dealing with the emotional trauma of having accidently run over another human (fedora guy who didn't even stop to see if everyone was ok! he just kept walking!!!!) .... AND she still has a husband and all four of her children to *put* in that new van.
Yup.... it was a good day. There are almost *always* worse things that could happen.... though, since this appears to be a life lesson G*d keeps teaching me... i'm always a tad bit worried what'll happen next! lol... no seriously - like - what kind of crazy luck was *that*!