Friday, August 04, 2006

Hit and Run

I was rear-ended on my way to work this past Wednesday. I had stopped at a huge intersection so as not to block traffic, and this young woman in a black American coupe smashed into me going about 25 miles per hour.

(No, this is not a photo of any of the cars involved in this accident, but it is a close approximation of how I feel after this whole brouhaha.)

What the hell was she thinking? It's a busy city street, morning rush hour, signs indicating construction up ahead -- PAY ATTENTION, WOMAN!

But it gets worse. As I sat there dazed after the impact, she got out of her car and walked up to my window. She was in her mid-twenties, brown hair, white, maybe 5' 6" (make a note of that in case you ever see her...) and said "Are you okay? Why don't you pull over there (here she motioned to a side street, away from all the heavy traffic we were now blocking) and I'll meet you." "Okay," I said, trying to focus. When the light turned green, I made my way to the side street...only to see her take off in her smashed coupe in a completely different direction.

I saw red. "You BITCH!" I screamed, pulling a U-Turn at top speed and racing after her. Only to be blocked by a truck in the small turning lane. I tried to squeeze by, determined to get her license plate -- and scraped the fender of the truck. Damn! But I did get the first three letters of her plate: 4TL. So if you see that woman in her smashed up car, get the rest of the plate for me, will ya?

I was a surprised at my own fury. I hadn't cared about the consequences; I just wanted revenge. I'm not an angry person, but this and other recent experiences have taught me a bit about myself. It takes a lot for me to feel put upon. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, perhaps too much. But once I realize that you have fucked me over, that's it. I get mad. Ram my car, then you run? I will hunt you down until a truck interferes. I will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.

I gave the driver of the truck my insurance info and called the cops. One showed up not too much later, after I'd had a good cry and a very nice tow truck man checked in on me. So now my car's in the shop for the next month or so, insurance should cover the rental and most of the repairs, and I'm booking a luxurious massage for myself to take care of the whiplash. Everyone the whole rest of the day was very nice to me, and I felt a lot of gratitude toward my seatbelt, grateful to just be alive. After all, it's just a car. It's just money. I'm alive and can move all my parts with only a bit of pain. And that'll improve.

I love living in LA, but if this had happened in a smaller town, the cops would've shown more interest in tracking this idiot down and arresting her. The LAPD cop I spoke to was courteous but doubtful she'd be caught. Seems to me there can't be many black American-make coupes with a license plate that begins 4TL. Surely half an hour spent in a database search could turn up a few likely suspects. But my guess is that there are too many more serious crimes to spend their manpower on. I'd be happy to ID her in a line-up, but I don't think I'll get the chance.

Sof anyone ever hits you - don't pull over and let them be free of traffic until you get their information, or at least a license plate number. And wear your seatbelt!

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