Thursday, October 23, 2014

750 Miles, One Wreck, 200 More to Go

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Left Little Rock, stayed outside Hattiesburg Mississippi last night (Wednesday), and staying in a Florida Rest Area outside Tallahassee tonight.  Roughly, that’s 750 miles.  Last night we stayed at Okatoma Resort & RV Park.  It is a Passport America park, only $13 per night, full hookups.  It is a couple miles off of the highway, which makes it quiet and peaceful, and we both got real good sleep.  Tonight, in the rest area, it will be much louder, probably our loudest night since we got to the Sacramento area back in May….but we will make it through the night.

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This is a picture of the RV park from their website….by the time I rest up from the drive, it was getting dark.  When we left this morning we got a picture of this lake/pond, but it did not turn out as good as theirs….so here is their picture.  Their website has many more, and they don’t hide the fact that many of the spots at their resort are close together….but remember, it is $13.  The staff I met were WONDERFUL….very nice and helpful.  Yes, we would stay there again if we are in the area.
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Driving along highway 98 from Hattiesburg near the Alabama boarder we witnessed a rear end crash that took place just in front of us.  A white mid-sized car had just passed us and pulled in front of us and continued down the highway.  In front of them was a pickup truck, with blinkers flashing, following a tractor, similar to the one below, probably going 40-45 mph.
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As I started to sense that something was wrong, the white car, at the last moment, attempted to pull to the left to avoid the truck, and BAM!  I was going around 55, they were going around 60, speed limit was 65 on this divided highway.  They had slowed, but not enough, before the accident.  No one was hurt, damage to car was enough that I am sure they needed a tow, while the truck was hurt, but not too much.  Turns out the truck and tractor were county vehicles.  The driver of the truck told me that two years ago an 18-Wheeler hit a county tractor from behind and killed the county worker…so now they have an escort.  As for the car, turns out the two guys in it were driving a brand new car from Lander’s , an auto dealer in Little Rock, to Georgia where they were to deliver it.  Doubt they will be delivering very many more autos in the future.  I figured the driver was on his cell…but he denied it to me.  When the state trooper arrived, he dismissed me from the scene, I got my collapsible cones off the highway and off we went.  Funny, no one took my name, not even the trooper.
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Have been carrying these cones since June of 2013 when our Class A American Eagle had broke down along he highway in May and we had no way to mark the danger along the highway.  I carry them in the HHR, and this was the first time I used them.  $24 for two from Amazon, and they include a light or night-time use.  And we don’t get any $$$$ by using our link if you buy them, just wanted to share the safety feature.

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Don’t know if you have ever had a wreck on the Freeway going 60+ or not, but a number of years ago I had one going from Little Rock to Pine Bluff.  Had a meeting at the State Library that day, but when I got there the weather was real, real bad, and I turned back to Pine Bluff.  There was a tornado which through the area about 40 minutes after I left Little Rock….about the time a guy in a pick-up truck hit me going 65 mph while I was traveling 60+ mph.  I saw in the mirror that this guy was getting closer and closer, so I hit the accelerator and started to get in the left lane….but I was about 2 seconds too late.  I nearly got away from him.  He hit me and it was like “Bumper Cars” at a carnival….except for the speed.  It has had a lasting affect on me since I constantly watch my rearview mirror when I am in the same type of situation.  Today I just started to utter “he is going to hit him” when the accident happened, and then I changed it to “he hit him”, as I quickly slowed and put on my blinkers, and carefully went around the debris field left on the highway, and pulled off in front of the wreck.  Things happen so fast, thank goodness we were way back, and thank goodness no one got hurt….not a scratch.  And the airbags did not go off in either vehicle….nor did they in my case some six years ago or so.  Why did the truck hit me back then?
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The driver was an older man from a poor little town south of Pine Bluff in a very old Chevy truck.  He was coming back from the VA hospital, where they had given him a new prescription…and as he drove along, he was curious to the type of medicine he had been given and was reading the label.   When he got out of his truck he had to hold on to the side of his truck as he walked, and I thought, “Oh no, he is hurt.”  Then he got his walker out of the bed of the truck.  He had left his driver door open, so I went over and closed it, just as he says, “Don’t close it please…”, but too late.  I had now locked his keys in his running truck with all the doors locked.  The state trooper was not too happy about that, he thought the guy did it on purpose to hide something …. until I told the trooper that I had done it not knowing that the truck door is always in the locked position.  “You locked his door?” the officer asked.  “Yes sir, but I did not know it was locked….I just didn’t want a car driving along the Interstate to come along and hit it.”  That defused the situation real quick. 
The older gentleman was a Korean War Vet.  I begged the State Trooper to just give him a warning, but he said that he would get in trouble doing that.  He wrote him up for failure to observe, or something like that.  Way better than it could have been.  I have always wondered if this guy is still driving or not....I hope so, and if so, I hope he learned his lesson about reading and driving.

6 comments:

  1. I'm glad you guys didn't get involved in the accident. Some people seem to be oblivious about what's going around them as they drive down the road. That and not leaving enough space between them and the next car ( hardly anyone does that) is the cause of most accidents, in my opinion.

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    1. I know what you mean. A few weeks ago we saw this guy pulling a trailer going 65+, and it started to weave back and forth. As he passed us I told Marcia that the guy was getting a bit squirrely, and I slowed way down to put space between him and us. Then he almost lost it....he recovered and slowed a bit, but not even a tenth of a mile later he was back up above 65. We never did see a wreck later that day, so he probably made it. CRAZY!!!

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  2. Thanks for the PPA recommendation. Since they are so variable, it's nice to keep a list of good ones and ones to avoid. Glad you avoided the accident. I have a hard time understanding why anyone doesn't get it that they are in charge of a killing machine and pay attention accordingly. You had a lot more sympathy than I would have had for someone trying to read a meds bottle while driving. Glad no one was hurt.

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    1. I think if you saw this guy, you too would have had sympathy. I know what you mean about "some" of the PPA parks....next to active railroad, right near Interstate, terrible electric. Had one where they did not direct people how or where to park, and RV's were turned every such way.

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  3. Good it wasn't worse and you were able to avoid it. Funny they didn't want your name as a witness. Maybe if you hit a county vehicle, it's always your fault.

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    1. I think 99% of the time if you hit someone from behind, it is your fault. But I too was surprised no one wanted my name...I guess if someone was hurt it would be a different story.

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