We were on our way to The Fort Global City when we encountered uncharacteristic traffic on a Sunday, leading up the flyover along C5, the one right before Tiendesitas. We were moving, but more like an inch at a time. As we got closer to the cause, we realized it was an accident. We saw lots of flashing siren lights, and we saw that it was a road accident. The looked really bad, and I was bracing myself for something gruesome. When it comes to these things, I’m not really usisero, mainly because I don’t have the stomach to see blood and guts and all that stuff. Even in movies I get really squeamish. Just to digress a bit, when I was young and watched “Oro, Plata, Mata”, the scene where the Japanese soldiers cut off Lorlie Villanueva’s fingers because she refused to give them her rings, gave me nightmares for weeks. The movie never really showed the fingers being cut off, but just the thought scarred me for a long time. Back to the accident, it seemed like the SUV slammed onto one of the lamp posts on our left, then swerved to right and slammed onto the right wall of the flyover. When we got there, the car was on it’s side. The police just pushed it upright. When it was our turn to pass the wreck, the ambulance just left, zooming past us on the other lane. We were praying that the passengers were alive since they were still being rushed to the hospital. The police stopped the traffic flow exactly as we were the next car to pass. They needed about 15-20 minutes to get the debris and the vehicle out. So for quite some time, no cars were moving on both lanes of the flyover. We were stuck to watch them clear the area. We didn’t really mind, suddenly being very grateful just to be safe inside our cars. Scenes like this really put things into perspective.
The whole thing really stuck with me like a stubborn scent, the way smoke clings to your shirt after a night out. Wherever I went after that, I had images of the car crash flashing in my head. It’s one of my worst fears, to get a call saying that someone you love got into an accident. It’s something I would never wish even on my worst enemies. So I guess it shook me up because it hit a primal nerve inside of me. I’ve never had a ringside seat to an accident like this. Usually I’d only see parts of it from behind the police cars or ambulances, but never really had a clear view of it.
Just be careful on the road everyone, I get goosebumps whenever I remember the close calls I’ve had. Just this week, on my way home from Tagaytay after the Golden Dove awards at about 3am, I almost slammed onto a truck because my reflexes were in slow motion. I didn’t drink any alcohol, I wasn’t asleep, but I wasn’t fully awake either. I could see the truck, I knew I was driving towards it, but my brain couldn’t seem to get the message to my leg to slam on the brakes. But just in the nick of time, I jerked aware and pounded on the brake pedal in time for a jolting halt. It was a sobering moment. So seeing this crash reminded me of just how much of a responsibility it is whenever you get behind the wheel of a vehicle. You are responsible for yourself, for your passengers, for the drivers and passengers of the vehicles on the road with you, and the pedestrians. It’s no joke. Just how seriously you take your responsibility as a driver could spell the difference for you during your sliding doors moments. Those seemingly infinitesimal choices you make could be a turning point for you and the ones you love.
I pray for the passengers on that SUV.