I feel the need to record what happened Thursday night/Friday morning. So please bare with me.
I was feeling really full, and extremely sluggish after leaving Applebee's, but that wasn't beyond the norm for me. Most of the ride home was really uneventful. There was nothing to really mention until I got to highway 53. That's when I saw the truck in front of me slam on its brakes. Fortunately, because I was so tired, I was driving well below the speed limit, and not following the truck closely, because I had time to see the car in the truck's path, and then hit my brakes as a reaction. I saw the truck slam into the car and then go wheeling off road.
Almost immediately, before I could even get my car stopped really, the car in front of me caught fire. It wasn't a small fire, but a enormous blaze that engulfed the entire car, and had an amazingly explosive beginning. That's when I saw the hood of the now burning car come sliding down the road towards me. It stopped a few feet before my car, or maybe I stopped a few feet before it, its really all kind of jumbled together.
I pulled off the road, because now, obviously, the road was blocked with debris and flaming wreckage. As I got out the car, I notice a man across the road standing there bent over with his head down, almost between his knees, half mumbling, have shouting, "oh god oh god oh god oh god". I grabbed my phone and called 911, and then went over to the man I saw across the street. I kept asking him if he was alright, and he kept on stumbling around. That's when I saw the blood around his lips, and I asked if he was coughing that up or if he'd hit his mouth. He replied he was coughing it up, and I told the 911 operator to send an ambulance and a fire truck. I then grabbed the man, because he was headed back to his now damaged truck mumbling about he needed to call someone. I told him to chill out, that I had a phone, and that I'd call anyone he needed to talk to. I asked him his name, and the number I needed to call. His name was Mario. He was still stumbling around, and I made sure that I held on to him because he was beginning to hold onto himself even tighter and saying that he couldn't breathe. I told him to sit down, lie down, whatever, but to quit trying to move. He didn't listen.
Someone picked up on the other end, and I told them I was here with Mario and that there was an accident. I told her that Mario was alive, and that he could talk. I handed him the phone and let him talk to her. I walked off to find the officer that I'd seen pull over and found him next to the fire truck as they pulled the hoses out to put the fire out. I told him I'd seen what had happened, and that I honestly couldn't say for sure what happened, but gave him the best account that I could based on what I'd seen. I asked about the person in the other car, and he just kinda shook his head and said they'd not been able to pull another person out.
Mario stumbled up to me, and handed me my phone. I told him to sit down and try not to move. The officer backed me up, and this time, Mario sat down.
To make a long story short, no one made it out of the car who caught fire. I wonder if I could've been fast enough to pull the person in that car out, if I could've helped that person somehow, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that the person in that car couldn't have made it, no matter what I did. Before I could even stop, that car was in full blaze, and I would've only injured myself trying to save that person.
I've never felt small, insignificant, or even fragile, but after tonight, I've never felt more that way. I can only hope that the person in that other car was unconscious and didn't have to suffer through burning alive.
Take care of yourselves, please.