Why did I decide to talk about wrong way drivers? Two reasons. Yesterday marked the 28th anniversary of my uncle’s death. Donnie was like a big brother to me. I was a troubled sixteen years old, struggling to figure out life, when he was killed by a drunk driver. We buried him on Christmas Eve and let me tell you it is the worst holiday I ever had. Even an abusive ex-husband couldn’t compare to losing someone I loved so dearly.
They say that most wrong way drivers are under the influence. I’m guilty of being a wrong way driver. I was not under the influence. Because Donnie was killed by a drunk driver I know firsthand the risks and dangers of getting behind the wheel after even one drink.
So how did my accident happen? It was Mother’s Day 2004. I’d spent the night in Rhode Island with my now husband. I was headed back to NY to spend the day with my kids, who had been with their father for his weekend.
I was excited. I was in love and centered on seeing my kids. I’d just stopped off at Dunkin Donuts for my large coffee and bagel. As I entered Route 10 I saw a car on the street next to me and in a brief second thought it was odd. I turned my attention to the road ahead of me and that’s when I saw a car coming right at me. I’m sure the couple in the car headed my way had the same fear in their hearts as I did. We both swerved, but it didn’t help. I hit the front of the car.
Coffee spilled all over the console, soaking my cell phone and a few CD’s. I had my seatbelt on so I was pretty much unharmed. I was shaken. The couple in the other car seemed to be okay too.
Down the road they tried to sue my insurance company, but from what I gather it didn’t hold up. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t care if they were paid or not. I’m just thankful they were okay. I’m glad I made it through the accident too.
I didn’t make it home in time to celebrate Mother’s Day with my children. By the time I got my car towed to a shop, got a rental car and shook of the events of the day it was midnight when I pulled into my parking spot in front of my house.
I hugged my children the next day thankful their mother was alive to do so.
My wrong way driving was due to me not knowing the area very well and no signs saying “Wrong Way” or “Do Not Enter”. They have signs up now because of my accident.
We were lucky, but all over the news I see wrong way accidents where the people who are hit aren’t so lucky.