Nobody saw it coming. A roaring monster in the dead of night.
The time was around 10.30pm last night as I drove past a T-junction, when I heard a loud rumble from the side road on my right. I was on the cross street of the junction. I took a quick glance: an articulated vehicle that had clearly lost control lurched as it navigated the sharp right turn at high speed and I would be directly in its path in a moment.
In front of me was another truck that was ambling along. I slammed the brake pedal and brought the SUV I was driving to a halt, leaving a gap between myself and the slow truck in front of me.
As if on cue, the driver of the runaway trailer swung his behemoth, missing my vehicle by a hair’s breath, and in a manner reminiscent of stunts from a Fast & Furious movie, curved through that gap, ramming into the concrete highway divider, knocking down a street light pole, and scattering debris – plastic, metal, concrete, and glass – on both sides of the road.
The cacophony was deafening as the long vehicle slowed down on the divider, then careened on to the other side of the road, roaring and screeching like a wounded dragon. It was a miracle that it didn’t flip over. A dreadful spectacle to behold.
Two oncoming vehicles – a keke and a salon car – both narrowly escaped being crushed at the hands of the monster. The latter escaped by swerving sharply into an empty car park. The car will need some repairs, because it collided with a small metal fence. But at least, no life was lost.
I sat there, in silence, watching the scene unfold. It all happened in moments. I was shaken. Then I snapped out of it and drove on home.
This is often how life and death transact. One moment, all is well and the lights are on; the next, the flip is thrown and all is dark. Death. The silence from which there is no return to this life.
I have had all manner of near misses and near death encounters on the road. Once again, I have cheated death. Here is a toast to life!