Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Rush Hour

I don't know what that black stuff all over the road was. It wasn't pavement. The car fishtailing in the right-hand lane as it skidded through it told me that. My lane of I-75 southbound was mostly clear so a gentle tug on the wheel steered me around most of it. I'd see where it came from in a moment.

First I had to keep an eye on that car careening out of control in front of me. The had driver panicked and oversteered. The car veered right then made a sharp left, cut across the lanes and into the median. Once on the grass, the driver appeared to have given up trying to re-gain control. It might not have mattered anyway. The car smashed into the guardrail. I heard the impact as I passed but I was too occupied keeping my own car going straight to see it. It didn't sound like car wrecks on TV. This one made a dull, lifeless crunch.

I thought to pull over to help but a car in front of me got the idea first and I let him be the hero. Good. With my luck, I'd stop and become the target for the next car to slide off the road at highway speed.

Better I just stay out of the way, I thought. It wasn't far before I saw the source of the spill. A semi with a black open-topped trailer sat parked on the right-hand shoulder. What it once carried I still didn't know. Topsoil was my best guess. Whatever it was, it made a mess that would have caused a lot more damage had it happened a few miles north where traffic was much heavier.

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