Yesterday, I got the police report back. It says in relevant part:
UNIT#1 AND UNIT#2 BOTH HEADING NORTHWEST ON US 290 (NORTHWEST FREEWAY). UNIT #1 FAILED TO DRIVER IN A SINGLE LANE. UNIT#1 HIT THE INSIDE CONRETE WALL, THEN HIT THE LBQ OF UNIT#2. UNIT#2 THEN ROLED SEVERAL TIMES.
I'm "Unit #2". It also has statements from the two drivers:
" I WAS IN THE INSIDE LANE, THE RED CAR WAS IN FRONT OF ME TO MY RIGHT. I HIT THE CONCRETE WALL THEN CAME OFF THE WALL HITTING THE RED CAR. I DO NOT REMEMBER ANYTHING ELSE BUT BRAKING HARD".
" I WAS DRIVING IN THE MIDDLE LAND AND COULD SEE IN MY REAR VIEW MIRROR A SILVER VEHICLE COMING FROM BEHIND ON MY RIGHT REAL FAST. THE VEHICLE HIT THE WALL AND CAME INTO OUR LANE. THEN WE WHERE FLIPPING".
The other driver also got this citation:
FAILED YO DRIVE IN SINGLE LANE (ACCIDENT)
His correct insurance information was on the police report, and we were able to file a claim.
So now the two insurance companies are talking to one another, and Graham and I have doctor's appointments to look at our necks. My arm still huts, and it's still bruised, but it's a lot better looking than it was last week. We'll see what we can do with our claim with the other insurance company.
The weekend was good, though. We got the rental car on Saturday, and we went to a party at a friend's house that evening. Dozens of friends were there, and everyone was very relieved to see that we were alive and relatively well.
Sunday was uneventful, and I think we needed a day of doing nothing, relaxing.
I went to work a full day yesterday and today, and I can feel it beginning to take its toll on me. I was really tired when I got home tonight.
I haven't had a car payment since 2002, and I'm not looking forward to having another one. But my car wasn't worth all that much, and I'm not particularly interested in getting a used car. It sort of pisses me off that someone can hit me and destroy my car, and he gets to walk away as if nothing happened.
I remember sitting there on the freeway looking at him at one point after Celosa was found but before the paramedics got there. I don't think I was angry at the time. I was still bewildered at what had happened. I still couldn't believe the last five to ten minutes of my life. He was sitting in his driver's seat. His airbags were deployed. And he looked dazed. He may have had a phone in his hand. The only thing I could think of was that he didn't look anything like I expected. He was a middle aged--50 years old we found out from the accident report--Asian man, dressed nicely. He looked like he was dressed for a golf or tennis match, sort of yuppie-ish in a casual weekend sort of way. The person I'd envisioned was a male from about 18 to 25 years old, angry or stupid, more willing to put himself and everyone else at risk with his speed and carelessness on the freeway.
I know where he lives now. I know what kind of car he drove. I know who he chose to buy insurance from. I know a little more about him.
But I don't know if he's sorry. I don't know if he feels bad for destroying my car, for nearly killing me and the person I love, for putting me through those minutes of being convinced that Celosa was dead, for making me think that I would die. I don't know if he feels bad for making me have to pay several hundred dollars a month for the next few years to buy a new car. I don't know how he felt when he watched me and Graham get strapped to boards and taken away to the hospital. I don't know what he thought when he heard Celosa crying so pitifully when we were taken away from her. I don't know if he wonders what happened to us when we got to the hospital, if he knows that we're relatively ok.
I feel more angry now. I feel like something was taken from me, and I'll never really get it back. I feel like the insurance companies will do what they can, within the confines of their respective policies, to make us closer to whole. But there's stuff that they can't fix.
I found myself much more emotional last week than I had been before. I cried for an hour about losing Crianza in January when I came across a blog post about her a few days ago. I had been much better about that. And I found myself having to hold back tears at odd times. I'd be by myself, working or just alone, and the wreck would flash in my head, and I'd freak out all over again.
I know that he didn't mean to do it. I also know how lucky I am in that I'm relatively OK, Graham's OK and Celosa is OK. I know that the thing that was my car saved me, and that it can be replaced. I also know that I'm not so freaked out that I can't drive, that I'll never enjoy going on a trip with those two again. As time goes on, we heal. Graham and I were talking that we find we're not reliving the wreck as many times a day as we were last week. I imagine with time, we'll go days or months without thinking about it. People we ran into at the party on Saturday were so surprised that we could talk about the wreck with such calmness, with such detail, and not be shaken.
There are parts of me that will scar, though. Literally, there are patches of my skin on my arm that are scabbing in such a way that I know there will be permanent reminders of this wreck for the rest of my life. And I will never forget the utter terror of being hit, and then feeling the car flip over and over and over and knowing that there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. I will never forget thinking, "I am about to die" and being so scared of it. I don't think that's a memory that won't scar.
Tags: 'stina, celosa, graham, holy shit