As a truck driver who covers thousands of miles per week, I’m treated to all sorts of scenes on the road. Some are pretty, like snow-covered mountains, cascading waterfalls, and slow-moving rivers. Some are funny, such as the time I saw a Volkswagen Bug pulling a huge U-Haul trailer. Others are puzzling; a tire perched precariously atop an exit sign—yes, I have seen that. But a few are downright creepy. Morbid.
For instance, a couple of weeks ago, I was traveling down the freeway, minding my own business—sort of—when I got passed by a State Patrol. He was following right behind another car and I kept waiting for him to pull them over but the lights didn’t come on.
Both cars soon disappeared into the night but then a ways ahead; I saw the red and blue lights start flashing. I watched as the lights came to a stop on the side of the road and assumed he had stopped the car he’d been following. But as I neared the location, I noticed there was no other vehicle in front of the cop. I had only a brief moment to wonder why the officer had made a stop of himself before his spotlight came on. And there, fully illuminated on the shoulder of the road, was a body! Yes, we’re talking a human body, a male. He was lying facedown on the side of the road, just off the fog line. (The white line on the right for you non-professional drivers).
Later, I learned the man had been struck while walking; a hit and run. Obviously, he had not survived.
I know sometimes walking down a freeway is necessary but why anyone would do it when there is no reason, especially at night is beyond me—I’ve seen the way people drive! Actually, when traveling at freeway speeds, it is extremely difficult to see people on the road at night. Yet, quite frequently, somebody is out there walking down the line. In fact, as I was thinking about writing this blog post, I saw one who must have had a death wish of his own.
I was traveling through a construction zone, a single lane with concrete barriers on either side. And there he was, a man who acted as if he had not a care in the world, slowly ambling along, reading a newspaper. He didn’t seem to flinch as multiple trucks and cars flew past barely a foot away.
Like I said, I know walking down the freeway may, at times, be necessary, but please, do me a favor. If you find yourself in a situation that requires hoofing it on the highway, walk on the other side of the guardrail—or at least far enough away from where my trailer could clip you if the wind happens to be blowing. I could do without all the extra paperwork! Thanks.
Oh, and the fool who was calmly standing in the lane mere inches from death? I heard from another driver that the police had showed up soon after I’d gone by and they’d apparently “explained” the situation to him and then escorted him out of the construction area. But, about five hours later, when I made my return trip, there he was again, strolling down the road, halfway in my lane. As I passed him, I’m sure I saw his lips moving, and his body was swaying back and forth rhythmically, almost as if he were singing. And maybe he was—his death song, I presume! ~
Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook at www.amazon.com/Bruce-A.-Borders/e/B006SOLWQS and paperback on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million. Bruce A. Borders is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.