Soooo... I accidently let my insurance lapse briefly and had my licence plate revoked for a month. I had been riding into work with Terry but using my moms van on Monday and Tuesdays nights (Terrys nights off) to give him a break.
Monday night I drove into work and would have been on time if not for getting caught in traffic just behind an accident. I was in traffic for about 20 minutes and when it finally cleared up and I passed through, I noticed a white van or SUV that had run off the road and was clear on the other side of the ditch in the woods. Thats all I saw really because I try not to be a rubber-necker while driving because in situations like that I dont know if there are still emergency workers standing around and would rather be on the look-out for them than what happened. Vehicles are deadly weapons after all....
When I drove my moms van into work I have to be back home by 5 till 8 so that my mom can take my little brother to school (he never rides a bus). I am supposed to get out of work at 7 but that rarely happens and though it only takes me about 35 minutes to get to work at night, it takes be closer to an hour to get home due to morning traffic. So I made it a point to make sure I left work right at 7 as I had done last week on Monday and Tuesday. I even decided to not swing by the bank to deposit my paycheck.
So Tuesday morning, Im heading south on Highway 13 (yeah, I know, unlucky number right?)(aka Whaleyville Blvd) trucking right along minding my own business when I notice something isnt right in front of me. There was a tractor-trailer (18wheeler, big rig whatever) in the other lane with a decent amount of traffic behind it as if it was going kind of slow. Then I noticed something coming out from underneith of the tractor-trailer and it was heading right for me. It was the fucking fuel tank! So a fucking fuel tank comes sliding into my lane and straight for me. There wasnt anything I could do to avoid it and I hit it head on. I think I managed to slow down enough but the tail end of the van still bounced and probably came off the ground because the right back end was off of the road and I ended up facing somewhat sideways. Once I came to a complete stop I noticed that there was what I thought was smoke coming from the front of the van and all I could think was that it was going to blow. I managed to put the van in park and grabbed my bag and got the hell away from it incase it did catch fire. I promptly called mom and told her I wasnt going to make it home anytime soon.
I lucked out because there where many witnesses and one of them was a Suffolk police officer who was a few car lengths behide the truck. The truck stopped pretty much immidiatly. I couldnt get ahold of Terry and had to call his mom to pick me up due to the fact that my dads truck was having trouble. Debbie and I went to the tow-truck place where the van was and waited for my mom and aunt to get there. Turns out that the smoke I saw was actually the radiator fluid leaking onto the hot engine from when it busted on impact.
Stupid facts and shit that left me thinking: The tractor-trailor was carrying pigs. The fuel tank was full. Had I been driving my car the tank might have rolled up the car and ended up in the windsheid. Had the tank come loose a second or two later and I not had the time to brake, there could have been a big fire. Hazmat had to clean up the spill and the whole road was blocked off from the time the accident happened (7:15) at least until we left for home (11:40). My mom said that when she went back into town today they had dug all of the dirt out of the ditch and only one lane was open. It was supposivly 250 gallons of spilled diesel fuel. The van was completly covered in fuel; even the back windsheild had it on it. Turns out that there was a school bus two vehicles behind me so if that tank had held on a little longer, fell off and hit the bus or when under it and sparked only god knows what could have happened. My mom wrote on Devient Art and a few people mentioned "guardian angels" and upon telling them that I am pagan on guy wrote back to her saying, "So glad to hear your daughter is fine, I'd thank the friendly little anti-exploding projectile faeries for that one."
Virginian Pilot newspaper website article:http://content.hamptonroads.com/story.cfm?story=120247&ran=179522
News Channel 13:http://www.wvec.com/news/suffolk/index.html
News Channel 3:http://www.wtkr.com/Global/story.asp?s=6147911
I didnt think to take pictures at the scene but did take pictures at the tow place. I wish I had pictures of the tank in the ditch and of the position of the van.
This is the truck. You can see where the fuel tank was and where the other one still is on the other side:
Here is the van:
And here you can see the haze on the windsheild which is the fuel:
Basicly, Im still wierded out because I could be in a burn unit right now. A few people have argued that diesel fuel doesnt catch fire that easily but my aunts brother in law died from a diesel fuel fire. He was driving a tractor-trailer and a metal beam from the back of a truck in front of him fell off and went under his truck and punctured his fuel tank. The beam also caused a flat tire, he lost control, ran into the wall on the highway, burst into flames, burnt up and died.
My back and shoulder are sore and am left thinking why this kind of thing happened to me and why it was not worse....