This evening, I had a harrowing experience. Going home from work, a black Land Rover in front of me stopped in the middle of the road on a very busy intersection. After some time, the people behind me started honking, and I joined in. The car moved to the right lane and I went my way. Suddenly, the Land Rover sped up and rammed my car on the right-hand rear passenger side. Thinking that this was a madman who was pissed at me for honking at him, my first instinct was to try to get away from him as soon as possible. I sped up and I heard him coming up behind me again. I got really scared then and started to pull over.
Surprisingly and frighteningly, the Land Rover started to pull over too. As it pulled over in front of me, it clipped the front left quarter panel of my car. With trembling hands, I reached for my cellphone and dialed 911. The driver got off, and it's a she [yeah, thinking road-rage, I stereotypically thought "guy" right away]. She's white, about 5'4", barefooted and looked dazed and confused. Although I thought I could take her if needed, I was thinking the worst [what if she had a knife?] and wouldn't open my door or window for her. She was standing next to my door, and I kept motioning to her to wait, that I was calling 911. Since it took many cycles of "All of our operators are busy..." to reach a live operator, I mouthed to her "Are you okay?" She said yes, but kept pointing to her car. In my mind I couldn't figure out what would make a car hit me without the driver willing it to. Still waiting for a dispatcher, I started taking down her driver's license, which I've been repeating over and over to myself the whole time. When she saw me do this, she walked (or more appropriately, weaved) to her car and drove off. Crud, what was I gonna do now?
While still on the phone waiting, I saw this lady walk towards me from the front excitedly gesturing and saying something I can't hear. When she reached my side, I rolled down my car window and she said that she was driving behind me and saw the whole thing. She even apologized for taking a long time to get to me because she had to find a safe spot to park. While walking to me, she saw the Land Rover speed off and had to jump to the sidewalk to make sure she doesn't get hit.
I asked the lady to get on the passenger seat, to get out of the busy street next to my car. She got in my car and told me the story as she knows it. She was doing the sign-language to me as she spoke, and she sounded like a mute who has recovered the sense of speech. Early on, she noticed the girl on the Land Rover (henceforth to be known as Ms. LR) driving erratically on the freeway. Ms. LR rammed a car on the freeway much like she did me, and when the car pulled over, Ms. LR drove off. My witness (henceforth to be known as Ms. GS for Good Samaritan) noticed that the Land Rover already has a taillight hanging out so she surmised that it's been on another accident. Ms. GS decided to exit the freeway to avoid the lunatic. To her dismay, Ms. LR followed right behind her. She tried to stay as far away from her as possible, and that's when I got in between them.
I finally get a 911 operator and I told her the whole story, being helped by Ms. GS. I honestly told the operator that what I'm concerned most about is that Ms. LR will cause more accidents, wherever she is. She asked me if I need an ambulance and I said no, but please look for the crazy lady in the Land Rover. At the end of the call, she said that she's sending a police officer over shortly.
I then called my husband. He prodded me to call my insurance but I didn't really want to deal with that at this point. I wanted to keep talking to Ms. GS so she will stay until the cop arrives. I keep thanking her and she said that something similar has happened to her and nobody stopped to help. While I was on the phone, she would type something on her PDA and I offered my phone in case she needed to call someone. She just smiled and told me not to worry, this is a very important matter and having a witness will help with my insurance.
Two police cars finally arrive after forty minutes. They took Ms. GS's statement and asked me to recount the story. I tried to be as detail as I could, answering their questions to the best of my recollection. When they heard that the culprit was still out there, one of the cops asked the other if he should maybe get on the freeway and see if he could locate her. The latter agreed and the former took off. The remaining cop then dismissed Ms. GS by saying she could go and Ms. GS said "Okay, hope that helps. Merry Christmas!" Suddenly realizing what she said, she turns to me and says, "I'm sorry, maybe not so merry for you" and I hugged her, smiled and thanked her one more time.
I spent another half an hour with the cop as he jotted down all my pertinent information for the police report and took pictures of my car. His radio then crackled and I heard the words "black Land Rover" and "freeway." The cop told me that Ms. LR just got in a very bad accident on the freeway and is being taken to the hospital. I asked if she will be alright and he didn't know. He gave me the card that contained details for my insurance and I went on my way.
When I got home I hugged my husband tightly and relaxed a little before going out to finish our Christmas shopping. He then told me that his tire blew out this afternoon but he didn't tell me earlier so I wouldn't panic. We laughed about our accident-laden day until he reminded me that bad luck happens in threes.
All I want for Christmas is peace and good health for my family. And maybe something nice for Ms. GS.