Saturday, November 25, 2006

Near miss but I don't know how

I was flying down I-75 last night near Ocala. I was on my way home from dropping Chowhound off in Clearwater (that's near Tampa). The traffic at this point had thickened but everyone was still doing about 80 so they wouldn't get run over. That is the typical speed for the holiday weekend. The Northbound lanes were three wide and occupied and I was in the inside lane. There was a narrow emergency strip to my left bordered by a guard rail. There was not immediate access to the median. The vehicle to my right was doing the same speed I was and there were cars behind both of us. There were no street lights and it was cloudy and dark. All of sudden right in front of me was a man standing in the middle of my lane waving his arms. There was a SUV parked partly in the lane behind him. I slammed on my brakes and started praying that they wouldn't lock up. I knew there was no way I could stop in time and there was nowhere for me to go. I was blocked in this lane. I was also worried about the person who had been tailgating me running into me and pushing me into this man. Somehow, I made it around them without hitting anyone. The fact that I drive a very small car is probably what saved the situation. I don't think a bigger vehicle could have fit between them and the vehicle in the other lane that could only slightly swerve because there was someone beside him. I saw as I passed by the man and the vehicle that this was a recent accident. There were several people standing on the other side of that vehicle and another truck beyond them. Once, I cleared the situation, I made my way to the right side emergency lane. I was shaking and crying and couldn't drive. I still do not know how I made it around them. I'm not that good a driver. Ask anyone. I hope and pray that no one behind me hit them. I couldn't tell from my rear-view mirror. So, I have something else to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.