It’s 11:45 PM and I was in my car, driving home. Like the good son I am, I was on the phone (hands free) talking with my mom.
I have made the same trip nearly every night for the last 17 years. Up State Street and onto I-91. Off at Exit 10 and onto the Route 40 Connector to Hamden.
I’m usually in the right lane for the exit on I-91, but quickly move to the left to avoid slower traffic exiiting Route 40 at Exit 1. I’m in that position 99 nights out of 100.
99 nights out of 100, I would have hit the guy going the wrong way on Route 40 head on.
Who knows why tonight was my lucky night? I needed to pick something up at the market, but it wasn’t pressing. Up until the last moment I had been deciding which route to take.
I was in the right lane, getting off, when I heard the sound of metal, saw sparks and watched a car, probably a pickup truck, continue down the highway. Another car, possibly one he’d hit, swerved and went up on two wheels.
It was all a blur. I really don’t fully know what happened.
“Gotta go.” I said to my mom. “I’ll call you back.”
911 rang four times before a State Police dispatcher picked up. He already knew about the wrong-way driver. Troopers were on the way.
He was calm and nonchalant. He’d been through this before.
“Are you OK,” he asked? It was a nice gesture on his part.
I was thoroughly spooked, but I said OK and got off the phone. A few seconds later I was explaining what happened to my mom.
The person driving the pickup truck… the wrong-way driver… could not have been any more dangerous had he pulled out a loaded gun and fired in a random direction. My suspicion is, his punishment will not be commensurate with his crime.