10/23/2008

A Near Tragedy


There is one lucky Alabama Department of Transportation roadside worker today. At least, I’m sure his co-workers who witnessed the near tragedy would agree. Tuesday morning, I had to go to Birmingham, AL on personal business. It is a four hour drive up I-65 as the crow flies. Invariably there is, at some point on any interstate system, roadwork taking place. This is especially true with the I-65 corridor in Alabama.

As I was approaching mile-marker 45, I noticed the sign “Road Workers Ahead: Prepare to Reduce Speed.” And that is exactly what I always do. I don’t want to have on my conscience the death of someone because I didn’t pay attention to my speed. Plus, I already have gotten my first speeding ticket in 17 years this past July. Tickets where there are roadside workers mean double fines and double penalty points on your record. I don’t need that. Anyway, as instructed, I slowed down to 55MPH from the 70MPH limit. I noticed the orange vests of roadside workers about a mile ahead and slowed down even more. They appeared to be doing survey work. There were about six workers on the right-side of the interstate and two more on the left. As I was within about 1000 feet of these men, the two workers on the left start slowly and nonchalantly walking across the road. One of the two recognized he had better hasten his walk across the interstate. But, the other one, a short stocky type, seemed to walk even slower. Realizing I was in danger of hitting this man at about 50MPH, I swerved over into the emergency lane, and clamped down on my horn. It had no effect on this slow, slovenly worker. It all seemed to happen in slow motion. I could see him, his co-workers apparently screaming at him and in my rear view mirror, I saw a huge SUV barreling up behind me.

I managed to avoid hitting this guy. But, it wasn’t by much. However, my problems were not over. That SUV was still steaming toward my tailpipe at warp factor 8. I then hit the gas peddle hard to put even more distance between me and the SUV. She barely, and I do mean BARELY avoided rear ending me. She was so close, I could see her gasp with relief in my rear view mirror. She was that close. This was all because of one man who not only almost caused his death; but the death of at least one other person. I reported this incident to ALDOT Wednesday morning. I have not heard back from them as yet.

To the roadside worker who barely avoided becoming human road-kill; you are a damn IDIOT.

2 comments:

I wish that people who want to die would just leave the rest of us alone and go do whatever they want to do.
Why do they always seem to want company? If they needed company they wouldn't kill themselves.

David, it is a miracle that I didn't hit the guy. A miracle. And I seriously doubt his co-workers would have backed me up. I would have been in and out of court for several years if I had hit and fatally injured him.

I did get a reply to my complaint today. It wasn't a canned reply either. The ALDOT said they take this sort of incident seriously. That remains to be seen, however. It could have been a disaster.

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