We Nearly Got Killed On The Way To Our Vacation

By the time we’d seen the car it was too late. Had I been in my normal spot we’d be dead.

The title is serious. We almost got killed on I-91 just north of Hartford! I didn’t tell the story during our vacation because it was a little too spooky.

It was just before 5:00 AM last Saturday and we were northbound to Bradley. The road was dark. There was light traffic. I was doing around 70 mph. I’m usually a left lane driver, but was in the center as we passed the highway jumble that is Hartford.

“Look out,” Helaine yelled.

I turned my head left and for less than a second watched a car approach and then pass me. He was in the northbound left lane but he was heading soutbound at a high rate of speed! We probably passed each other at 150 mph.

For a moment neither Helaine nor I could get the image out of our minds. By the time we’d seen the car it was too late. Had I been in my normal spot we’d be dead.

I grabbed her hand and we proceeded silently for a moment. Then I picked up my cell and dialed 911.

“He’s probably in Downtown Hartford by now,” I told the State Police dispatcher. I dialed our TV station’s newsroom next.

Jason, a producer, answered. “Call the State Police in a few minutes,” I said. “Check and see if anything happens.”

All we could do was hope the driver figured out what was going on and exited the highway. There was no reported accident.

When it’s your time, it’s your time. It wasn’t ours yet.

Having The Shit Scared Out Of Me

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.