Around 8:00 PM Friday night I wished that I was anywhere but on a blinding strip of highway, just a few miles north of Toronto.
It was the worst weather you could imagine.
For endless hours the visibility was limited to a few feet. The wind didn’t gust. It blew constantly. Seemingly on demand, when the road got icier, it blew harder. Deserted cars, overturned trucks, spontaneous snow drifts all had to be dodged. I was helpless. Providing me a tiny taste of what a blind person must experience daily, ever hopeful they have safely chosen their path and that those around them are mindful of their vulnerability.
On several harrowing stretches I was forced to stop completely and pray that no one was dumb enough to even attempt to keep moving. Tornado-like snow gusts created a vortex around us that had me convinced our all-wheel-drive wheels would soon be airborne; with me powerless to return our ship to tarmac.
Nearly 180 minutes later, we made it safely to our destination. Beyond the obvious gratitude to the driving gods and relief to have kept my family safe, I was quietly pleased that only once had I let my true emotions show how frightened I truly was.
I think everyone got thanked for their divine intervention. The maker of my automobile. The aforementioned driving gods. My dog’s role as a good luck charm. My fellow drivers for being equally as cautious as me.
At the same time as I was issuing my gratitude, a driver just a few miles from us didn’t exercise the same caution as those that had shared the road with me. Inexplicably he (I actually don’t know their gender) decided to pass a transport trailer.
Seconds later they were dead.
So was their passenger.
Four other people were extracted from their vehicles.
Three were airlifted to hospital with serious injuries, including a one-year-old baby who was ejected from the car. Yet somehow survived.
What could possibly have been so important on a snowy Friday night in Clearview Township that the driver had to pass a transport truck in zero visibility conditions? Was he or she the parent of this child? Or was the baby from the innocent vehicle they struck head on? There were at least two people in that car severely injured. But thankfully alive. For now.
I don’t care how big of a rush you are in. I don’t care how impatient, self-important, impaired, or utterly stupid you are.
PLEASE SLOW DOWN.