We kept Kit’s birthday low-key this year. It fell on Easter Sunday, so he requested that we go out another night for a steak dinner, only inviting a couple of others. I went to our favorite bakery that afternoon and picked up a dozen cupcakes—they were perfect. I brought them home and put them in the refrigerator while we relaxed at the house.
We got ready later that afternoon and headed out for the restaurant. I was driving my truck northbound on I-35E and we were approaching the 35/183 split. We were veering to the right to remain on 35 and I noticed an older gold sedan to our left that was getting a little closer, little closer and before I could do anything about it, they hit us! They must have not meant to get on 183 and at the last minute they attempted to merge onto 35. The problem, of course, was that we were already occupying that lane, so they merged into us instead.
They hit the left side of my truck in four areas, which, while going 70 miles per hour on the highway, sent my truck flying across three lanes of traffic and somehow we ended up on 183. It is still amazing to me, how I managed to maintain control of the truck. We are so thankful that there wasn’t an 18-wheeler or other vehicle in one of those lanes where we ricocheted; things could have been much worse. I pulled onto the shoulder of the highway, we stopped and got out to survey damage. My otherwise perfect 11 year old truck now has battle wounds all up her left side, and it actually looks surprisingly minor for how hard we were hit.
No one stopped. I can see how it would be difficult to stop on a highway, especially where two highways split, but I was still disappointed. The gold sedan kept going along 35 and we were not able to get any specific information on them to report it. My truck still ran just fine, so we decided to get back on track and continue on to the restaurant. We were only about 10 minutes behind. I remained calm and was curious as to how I hadn’t reacted much from what had just happened. I was actually impressed with my ability to handle things in an emergency and proud of how I held it together.
We finally arrived at the restaurant, where we had family and a couple of friends waiting for us. I handed off the box of cupcakes to the hostess, who said she would bring them out later. We sat down and began retelling the story of our eventful trip when the restaurant manager approached me. “Could you come with me for a moment, ma’am?” he asked. I had no idea what this guy could have wanted. My first reaction to this type of question typically is, “Oh, shit. What did I do wrong? I am not packing heat and I didn’t bring any drugs with me today." I decided this issue wasn't with me personally. Whew.
The manager brought me to the bar area, where the bartender had our box of cupcakes. The manager said, “I just wanted you to see this, so you don’t think we did it. This is what they were like when you brought them to us.” The cupcakes were demolished. Of course I wasn’t thinking about them through the wreck—the box didn’t tip over or anything, but the cupcakes all came out of their slots and flew around and smooshed in the box. I felt the need to explain myself, “We were just in a wreck on the highway on our way here, and that is how this happened.” We were just in a wreck that could have easily put us in the hospital or worse. Saying it out loud and seeing the ruined cupcakes prompted me to begin blubbering in front of him. The bartender came over and asked if I was alright. I began to tell her what happened, I started crying again, and then she began crying, too! The bartender hugged me and we cried together over my smooshed cupcakes and highway wreck.
I soon excused myself to the ladies room where I finished being upset, I put myself back together and was back at the table with my loved ones. We ended up having a very pleasant dinner and time together. Thankfully everything is alright, although I still get slightly nervous on the highway when I see someone approaching me on the left…