The joys of Spring, right when you think you are in the clear, winter strikes again. We had another small taste of winter begin last night and continue through today. Temperatures for the rest of the week look a little on the chill side, with another slight chance of snow next week.
The last few weeks have been very nice, deceivingly nice in fact, almost-want-to-plant-the-garden nice. Thankfully, experience has told me to wait. Looking out the window, I am glad I did 🙂 Minnesota is like that, just when you think summer has arrived, it “surprises” you with snow. I remember seeing snowflakes in early June once, hopefully not this year.
There is aways a beauty that shines through nature, even the late season snows. It is strange that something so beautiful can also be so inconvenient, or even deadly. We awoke to a little destruction of our own this morning. It is lightly snowing out right now, but it started out as freezing rain last night. A light breeze combined with some ice managed to take out a few more trees and branches, like this one here. I am pretty sure I already have enough to cut!
Thankfully, it landed next to the wood bin! If only it would have fallen in 16-18 inch pieces…
So the adventure continues (hang with me here)…
This morning, on my way to work, I had to fill up the car with diesel. The card readers at the station were down and the fuel buttons iced over. No problem, after a bit of scraping and pounding we (myself, an attendant, and the guy next to me ready to top off his truck) managed to loosen one of the pump fill buttons to get at least one pump operational. Pounding wouldn’t fix the card readers though, no biggie, I happened to have a little cash with me. No card necessary. Car full and fuel paid for, I headed off to work. Pulling out on to the highway on-ramp, I was greeted with an overturned pickup in front of me (news headline here). Mind processing what I was seeing, I quickly pulled over to the shoulder, jumped out, and followed the few others in front of me who were doing the same.
We ran to the truck to assess the scene, no emergency responders on-scene yet. We walked around the truck trying to figure out what to do and digest what we were seeing. One man in the driver seat. No passengers. The roof had been smashed in to the point the man had no room to move and his head was nearly impossible to find, it was still there, right? Yes, we could hear him say something! One of the guys asked how he was feeling and reassured him he would be fine. We could hear him say that he thought he was fine. Another grabbed out his phone and called 911. Myself and some others tried to figure out what to do, initially thinking about flipping the truck upright (by now we had enough guys to do so), but thought better of it. I pulled at the door but it was obvious that would lead nowhere. Two of us noticed a picture of a woman by the door that must have fallen out of the truck. Maybe a daughter?
Screech, another vehicle hit the same patch of ice and veered off into the median of the highway (maybe this one??). Now it was becoming obvious that the scene wasn’t safe as we all just literally witnessed this second car lose control on the highway in the same spot. Thankfully, it went the other way, but would there be another?? About this moment, the first officer on the scene pulled his car up to the vehicle that was now in the median. Realizing the truck that we were standing by was the greater concern, he ran over to assess the situation with us.
We could now hear the man asking to please get the seat belt off of him. The officer grabbed out a knife, reached up and managed to cut him loose from the belt. About four of us and the officer started pulling at the door to free the man from the confined space. After quite a bit of prying and pulling, the door finally came free. The door no longer holding the man in, his legs and rear fell out to the side, head still in the truck. With the aid of the officer, the man had enough energy to craw out of the overturned truck and lay down on his back, surely a relief after being confined and upside down. Besides a little bit of blood on his face, he seemed coherent and okay. By this time, several firetrucks and another police car were arriving on the scene. Myself and the rest of the guys knew at this point that if we remained, we would just be in the way, or a target for another out of control vehicle. So, without a word, we all walked off to our cars to head our separate ways, knowing there were others now at the scene with more experience than us. I left the scene thinking the gentleman would live to see another day, a miracle, considering the shape of that poor little rolled over red truck.
I decided to drive back and work from home today. That was enough adventure for an engineer in one day, I didn’t need to push it. Through the day I checked the news to see if the accident made headlines. Unfortunately, it did, he didn’t make it. How could that be? I was shocked, he seemed fine when I left. But, then again, his head took quite a beating. Lord, be with his family, comfort them with Your unfailing love. Use this situation for Your glory, no matter how dark it seems right now.
Many of you work with death daily, this however was the closest I have been to someone else dying. It is a reminder of how quickly things can change when you least expect it. What are you doing with your time on earth? Everything may seem fine now, but the next moment is never guaranteed.