It’s been said that nothing makes you more aware of your mortality than nearly meeting it.
Tonight, I met mine.
An intersection along my route home in Kansas City is Marion Park Rd and Bannister Rd. It is a T-intersection with Bannister running east-west. Along that road it isn’t uncommon for people to race the yellow and lose by a short margin. To anyone who knows that area of KC, it’s probably expected that this will happen.
Let me set up the scenario:
I was sitting in the right-side left turn lane on Marion Park Road with the intent to turn west onto Bannister. Sitting at the intersection as well was a shuttle bus, sitting in the left-turn lane on Bannister intending to turn south onto Marion Park. The light turned green for me to turn and I ventured into the intersection.
A black SUV then came out of nowhere and ploughed through the intersection as if the light wasn’t even there, as if he had somehow declared ownership of the road and everyone must bow to him.
Had the light turned green only a moment sooner, my 28 year-old wife would likely tonight have been a widow. And she along with my parents would’ve been casting my ashes to the west wind.
Thankfully tonight I was instead coming home and shedding tears into my wife’ shirt, both of us thankful that I was coming through our door into her arms instead of a cop knocking on the door and she collapsing into their arms. Thankfully I could see the SUV coming while I still had the opportunity to stop. A moment sooner and I would not have as the shuttle would’ve turned the intersection blind. And given how fast that SUV was going, against my Spectra it would’ve been no contest. Without doubt I would have been killed.
And with the feeling pouring through me knowing I had come so close to death, it is one I hope to never experience again, presuming I can ever shake it.
To those who will run the red lights, plough through intersections without consideration, please do us all a favor and either relearn the rules of the road or stay the hell off the streets.