23 September 2008

18 Wheels Of Anxiety

"Man, those lights are bright."

I hadn't noticed those brilliant blue-white lights on a tractor-trailer before. Now here they were, on an 18-wheeler coming up fast in my rear view mirror.
"Wow, he's comin' on really fast!"

It's pre-dawn and I'm on my way to work on a two-lane State highway.
My mirror begins to fill with truck grill, and I'm worried enough about the approach speed that I speed up a little, just in case.
Then he's on the binders, and the truck rapidly recedes in my mirror.
"Good. Maybe he's turning off."

Here he comes again, and now he has more of my attention than I'd like to devote to something BEHIND me.
He crosses the double yellow no passing line, stays there for several seconds, then recovers to the right lane so quickly he overshoots and his right wheels leave the roadway momentarily. He recovers to the roadway just before he hits several mailboxes.

Cell phone. 911. Send.
"911, State your emergency."
"I'm being followed by an 18 wheeler that is using both lanes of a two-lane highway."
"Are you on highway *** just East of ****ville?"
"Yes Ma'am."
"You're the second caller about this guy. Standby."

I hear radio traffic in the background over the phone.
She relays my position to someone over the radio and gets a "10-4".

"What are you driving, sir?"
I tell her, and she relays that information to the Deputy.
"Is he still behind you, or did he turn off at "********** trucking?"
Wow. She knows EXACTLY where I am! Cell phone coverage?
"No, he's still behind me."
She also relays that information.

"You should see a Sheriff's Durango on your left, and an unmarked city unit on your right."
And there they are, just as advertised.
The Visibar lights up as the Durango pulls in behind him.
He pulls to the right side of the road so quickly I once again fear he's out of control, but brings the rig to a halt safely.

Diabetic problems?
I wish I knew the end of this story.


cary said...

Man, that's some good coverage. Good thing they were all over that, or you would have been all over his grill.

Goes to show the air is safer than the ground for most pilots...

Terry said...

Gives you meaning to Hit by a MACK Truck.
I'am with you I wonder what the problem was.
Your call might of saved a life. That too we will never know, but I like to think so.
You went out of your way instead off just driving off.I honor that move.

Epijunky said...

I've been there, and it scared the crap out of me.

I'm glad it ended the way it did, but I would have LOVED to find out what his problem was.

Marc Cote said...

been there, done that. Some of those guys are driving well beyond the limits of attentiveness. Thought of your blog and your profession when I saw this post on another blog. http://www.mostlysafeforwork.com/post/Times-when-you-have-to-trust-the-pilot.aspx

cj said...

I'd go either with tired or drugs to beat the need for sleep.

Glad you weren't hurt.


Di said...

I'm just glad it was not the end of you!!! :))