I’ve heard it said that our angels protect us from harm and have the ability to manipulate Time and situations, if need be. I’ve been taught there is a reason for everything, though we’re not often let in on the whole story. Had I not been two minutes late for an appointment today, I would not have witnessed a 17 year old young man drive into a house.

I was driving down a long, winding hill that borders one side of the huge High School where my daughter is a Junior. At 2:30 pm, it’s always chaos as the students leave for the day. The Juniors and Seniors are allowed to drive to school. My daughter leaves every day with her regular crew of close friends. I knew, as I was driving to my dentists’ office, located next to the school, for a 2:40 emergency appointment for a tooth that’s acting up, that she and her friends were heading home.

I was late. It was 2:38 when I glanced at my car clock. I knew I wouldn’t get to the office on time. Ahead of me, as I drove down the hill, I saw a black older model Camero shoot out in front of me from the left side of the roadway, at an alarming speed, and begin spinning donuts in the road. I thought the car would flip over at any second.

Somehow I knew to scan the surrounding area for other cars and anyone who might be hurt. The only person close enough to be in any danger was me. The driver seemed to stop the car from spinning. I could see the smoke coming from the burning rubber of the tires and hear the engine roaring. Suddenly, while I was still heading towards him watching, and only seconds from his car, it shot off like a bullet to my right, jumped a curb, crossed a front lawn and drove right into a house.

When I was 18 years old, the choke got stuck in my 1972 Toyota Corolla. I ran stop signs and played with the manual choke, terrified, and to this day I have no memory of how I stopped the car. I knew, from seeing his car acting as if it had a mind of its own, that something made him lose control.

I was still the only person there, though a minute later others appeared behind me and stopped. There was this odd moment of dead quiet. It was likely a second, but it sticks in my memory. There was no sound. I quietly pulled up in front of the house, looked at the car stuck in the living room, heard screaming and pulled out my cell phone.

I wasn’t sure what to do first. Check out the screaming or dial 911, so I did both. As I was giving the police the information, I got out of my car, got the house mailbox number and as I delivered the street address, I watched the driver crawl out of his passenger door window. I told the police the driver was alive and we hung up.

The kid was in shock. I was upset, but more from the shock of what my eyes had just seen. A car stopped and some kids got out, and walked up to the driver to offer comfort. He told me his throttle was stuck and he had no control of the car. Soon, more students appeared. I approached the driver and checked his hand, which was bloody and cut. I rubbed his back and asked if he knew my daughter. (He didn’t. He knows her boyfriend.) I was wondering if he was a friend, and I wanted to make a connection with him, since I was a complete stranger.

Then, the owner of the house walked outside.

I didn’t think anyone was home since it was quiet and there were no cars in the driveway. I never thought to look inside the house for anyone. The gentleman was good natured and calm. We both kept an eye on the driver until the police arrived, thinking he might be in shock. The front of his car went through the front bearing wall of the house, in between a window and the front door. It’s amazing the kid only hurt his hand.

In the next hour, I watched as the news helicopters arrived above us and news reporters arrived by car. The fire company sent 4 trucks and called for the flatbed tow truck for the totalled car. I gave my information as the witness and I spent some time with his parents, who arrived as soon as they got word. I was interviewed by reporters. I kept wanting to be by the driver, knowing that our lives came so close to ending today.

The homeowner’s wife got home and still, the two of them never once showed anger at the driver. Their front lawn and whole front of their house is damaged but they seemed just happy the homeowner was in the basement when it happened. He heard the house shudder. They have several kids, none of whom were home. The fire company won’t let them stay at the house because it’s not safe.

I called my daughter, who called my dentist to say I wouldn’t make the appointment. She came to the accident scene with her friends. There had been two accidents after school last week, both by student drivers.

Last year, 6 students were killed in car accidents from the school.

I’m not sure why I witnessed this one today, but what has me feeling strange is that I was mad at myself for being late for my dentist appointment. Turns out, that may have been exactly what my angels had planned all along.

Update Tues, November 7.

The story made the front page news of my local newspaper. My kids are mad because I didn’t use my full name (Kim Krause Berg), so their friends won’t know it was their mom who reported and witnessed the crash. I didn’t sleep well last night. Kept thinking how close I came to being hit by his car. I feel so badly for the young man and his family. They, myself, and the homeowners all have kids his age in that school, who are new drivers. Ironic. He hated all the attention. It’s been the talk of the day today, everywhere I go.

Several newspapers are running the story in print and have photos in their print publications. I’m linking to whatever I can find on it.
CBS3 Story (brief), with video from helicopter

Pennridge boy, 17, crashes car into house as he leaves school

Philadelphia Inquirer AP article

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cre8pc

Kim Krause Berg’s long background in web design, SEO and usability includes software application functional and user interface testing, accessibility, information architecture and persuasive design. She shared her passion for Usability and SEO through her site and private consulting at Cre8pc for 17 years. Kim founded Cre8asiteforums in 1998. In the fall of 2012 she sold her forums to Internet Marketing Ninjas and retired from private consulting to join their Executive Management team where she continues her work in usability testing, customer experience and conversions design.

My Online Course: Web Site Usability 101

Member:

American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)

Information Architecture Institute

Usability Professionals Association (UPA)

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