This won't be a fun post. It was not a fun afternoon, I need to tell people and clear my mind. I was going from Nashville, TN to Sparta, TN. I had to pick some stuff up (... which is also a pretty shitty story...). I was about 8 mile from my destination when I noticed the care in front of me go over the white line on the right. Not a lot, but I also noticed the passenger was "dancing". I got cautious.
A couple of miles later, the car in front of them turned left into a driveway. We all had to stop. The car accelerated away VERY SLOWLY. I seriously pondered dialing 911 and reporting a drunk driver. Little did I know that I didn't have enough time to make any type of difference. The car continued to swerve. Being on a motorcycle, I was making sure I had a large space cushion. I thought as long as they were in front of me - I was safe. I could control my own destiny.
Somewhat randomly, they accelerated into a curve - this is where the story goes horribly wrong. Rather than negotiate the very easy left hand turn, they got off the road into the grass. They drove through the parking lot of an old VFW, takign out a 6x6 pole, stripping the cable from another .... straight across the parking lot into the woods. The major problem was that the place they entered the woods was over what locals called a "holler" (may be "hollar"). I called it a gulch... it was huge, at LEAST 30 feet down. I don't mean to make any fun of this, but it looked like some Dukes of Hazzard driving off a cliff.
I pulled over immediately - nobody was coming at us, nobody was behind - I was the only person that saw this. I called 911 and told them I saw a horrific accident. They asked me if I was okay, if my motorcycle was safe, if I was out of the way. We then started trying to figure out where I was, I had no address. I read a sign, described it - the guy on the phone knew exactly where I was. I could hear sirens almost immediately. The dispatcher asked me to yell - I did... I heard no reply. I saw a lifeless arm.... I was shaking.
Numerous emergency vehicles came, including a life flight helicopter. The Tennessee State Patrol asked me to stay to discuss the situation. I waited patiently for what had to be an hour. As I watched, I saw them pick up a body bag. It was a sickening feeling. They did pull one person (the driver, I believe, but do not know out). He left in a helicopter.
Knowing I had 220 more miles on my motorcycle, I pushed all the feelings down. I didn't think about it much, I told a couple people - but I didn't let myself FEEL anything. I told my neighbor as I walked in. He knew I was upset. He asked if there was anything he could do - and he GENUINELY wanted to help. I asked him to grab me a couple diet cokes from the store next door, he did.
When I walked in the door, I quite literally broke into tears. Cindy came and gave me a full motorcycle gear hug.
I don't know how I am supposed to feel, but I feel sad, glad, confused - but I know I am grateful, too. Tomorrow I will google the incident and maybe get more "closure".