The 411

On April 11, 2013, I narrowly avoided a catastrophic freeway event. Heading West on I-10, I ventured forth to visit family in California. I cargoed two dogs and one friend who helped split the driving. Well before the rest stop off ramp, all traffic came to an abrupt slow down and then the inevitable abrupt stop. Midmorning traffic in the middle of nowhere, I raveled amongst big rig truckers. Working on the docks at the Los Angeles/ Long Beach Seaport for so many years with Customs, this did not phase me. But, the abrupt halt of my forward acceleration did. Why did we stop? What in the world is happening? Is there an accident? Where are the airlift helicopters? Where are the Highway Patrol Officers? Assuaging my own impatience, I scooted over in to the right shoulder. Oh. A very, very long line of truckers waited to get off the off ramp for this rest stop. We ALL had to pee?? Just then, like watching a movie in slow motion, I see my life crushing in on me through my side view mirror. A Fed Ex truck could not stop in time and clipped the trucker who remained in the lane I vacated, behind the spot I vacated. The Fed Ex truck hauled two containers which got ripped open like cans of sardines by the truck that was behind me. The sound deafened me. The metal screamed, the brakes screamed, the whole screaming mess scraped right over my little Honda Civic. As the Fed Ex truck skidded by me, the filleted containers’ cargo dumped all over me. The pummeling boxes sounded like a hail storm I never wanted to be in, but there I was. Buried in boxes, the Fed Ex truck stopped right ahead of me, its torn sides flagging freakishly in my forward view. In shock, but ever the officer, I checked myself, I checked my passenger, I checked my dogs. We were, remarkably, OK. I told my friend to call 911. I tried to open my car door, but the boxes blocked me in. By then, the law enforcement officers arrived to the flow of traffic completely stopped, blocked by the littered highway. Everyone got to work. The officers, truck drivers and couple of passengers in the near vicinity all helped move the boxes of cargo off the highway. The officers showed professionalism and efficiency and politeness at its best. I never said who I was, a retired officer. Like we got drummed into us all after 911, be a good witness. If it is not your shift, not your jurisdiction, not your case, just be a good witness. The officers, satisfied that no one suffered any injuries, never took any reports. The Fed Ex truck found its way to the rest stop for further Fed Ex procedures, and I felt amazed to be alive. I did get in touch with Fed Ex to give a report, and dealt with more professional, efficient and polite people. I’m glad I paid attention. But, more than that, I am glad to be alive. 

 

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About admin

"I worked as a Federal Law Enforcement Officer for over 14 years, in a firearms carrying capacity. First assigned to LAX (1994), then to the Los Angeles/ Long Beach Seaport (1997-2007), I took an early retirement from my final duty station of El Paso, TX (2007-2008). Never having handled firearms prior to this job, I give full credit for my initial shooting lessons and safe firearms handling skills to the government. As I began to compete, I gleaned tips and coaching lessons from the best law enforcement instructors across the nation, turning myself into one of the best, too. I was a firearms instructor in Los Angeles and a national level competitor on a formally sponsored team from 1999 through 2003, being sent all over the nation for pistol match competitions. As a result of this gift of an experience, I went on to set five national records in the law enforcement shooting sports. Check in regularly to read about those and other adventures and misadventures!"
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