I was driving down the 405 last week on my way to my office in Santa Monica, and got stuck in an obscene traffic jam. I shouldn’t have been surprised, LA traffic is insane. I figured it was just the ongoing/never-ending giant construction project on the 405 and Sepulveda that was causing it. Then I saw the flashing lights, and heard the sirens.
A few moments later, my little hybrid SUV crawled past the true reason for our slowdown: a car and a semi truck had a run-in. The truck, of course, won.
I’m not sure how the accident happened. Probably somebody was speeding, or maybe somebody wasn’t looking where they were going. Man, the car was trashed. It was upside-down, and the roof of the car was crushed down to about 8 inches tall. I watched the firemen go at the car with the jaws of life. Crossed my fingers the occupants survived.
I like to think that everyone who passed was hoping/praying the same thing. And of course, we all probably also thought to ourselves “I bet one of them was speeding”. Or, “one of them wasn’t looking where they were going”.
I never found out if those people were OK. I didn’t see anything on the news about it, but then, in a huge metropolis like Los Angeles, it wouldn’t necessarily be reported. By the time I thought to check the usual blotter websites, it was days later. I couldn’t find anything. I choose to believe that the people in the car survived.
And I know it’s a little weird, but I had a bit of an “aha” moment, hours after witnessing this horrific and tragic event. I began to wonder, how many of us are speeding through life, or not looking where we’re going? I mean, it’s easy to do. We’re creatures of habit, and once you’re on the hamster wheel, it seems to make sense to keep spinning in it. It feels like you’re getting places. ‘Cause you are booking it! But in the larger scheme of things, you’re not. You’re just careening through life, without any regard for who or what’s around you, or with any thought as to where you’d really like to go.