It was Monday. Hubs and I decided to spend the day doing fun things. We went to Northeast Mall, to Sears, to buy a line splitter (I have no clue, don't ask). We went to Cabela's to buy fitover sunglasses (they are lovely). We went to lunch at Chaps (best burgers in the world). We went by my daughter's house to get a pick-up sign for my granddaughter's express line pickup. We were too early so we went for a little ride. It was a lovely, relaxed day.
And then it wasn't.
We were driving south on US 377 and had just gone through the Kroger intersection. We were in the far left hand lane next to the turn lane. We saw the car turn, we heard the explosive impact, we never saw the motorcycle. On impact there were vehicle parts flying into the air. The motorcycle was completely decimated. The car's front end was gone, the driver had lost control and was up on the curb then back on the street and finally came to a stop. As we passed by we could see him -- the motorcycle rider. He was on the pavement. He was young, not very big, lots of dark hair and, on quick review, very broken -- he was gone.
Hubs tried to stop but the traffic was bad and we couldn't. I grabbed my phone and called the police. As we turned the corner to go to Bean's school we saw the police officers who usually monitor the traffic through there (5 schools in close proximity) turn on their sirens and head that way. As we waited for Bean we saw the Careflight helicopters overhead -- two of them. Neither for the motorcycle rider.
There were four people in the car -- all adults. Two were ok and two were taken, by air, to local hospitals in critical condition -- one went immediately into surgery from all accounts. The last report I heard was that they were all expected to be ok. My daughter's neighbor, a fire fighter that was on one of the helicopters, told her the people in the car would be fine but that it was a really awful accident.
They finally released the name of the young man. I searched for a facebook page for him and found it. There he was with his blue motorcycle -- a crotch rocket as they are called. He was very proud of it. It looked to be brand new. Some of the comments were disturbing -- they made mention of his reckless driving. There were comments from his mother about how dangerous and scary it was. There were comments from a girl that I assumed was his girlfriend. I went to her page. The pain was palpable. Today she has posted photos of a makeshift memorial at the site with her laying on the place that his body last rested.
There were calls to the Keller police department last weekend reporting a blue motorcycle driving very fast and popping wheelies on this same road. They have no way of telling if it was the same driver. However, this young man's rate of speed as he made impact with the car was at least, if not greater than, 100 mph. It was 2:30 in the afternoon on a busy street -- the first day of school with lots of buses and parents on their way to pick up children. It is sobering to think that, had he swerved another way or weaved between two different cars, it could have been us as we were that close. As the debris rained down from that clear, blue sky we could hear it hit the ground -- we were close enough to check our car to see if anything had hit it. Physically we, and all those around us, were fine but the emotional impact is unexplainable. I visited the DFW Scanner Facebook page and joined in the convo there and everybody who witnessed this tragedy were shaken and expressing a good deal of distress over watching it. Myself included. My husband was shaken to the point that he went very quiet and was visibly upset.
So, this morning as I read comments from his mother and see his girlfriend's attempts to understand, I have to admit, I don't understand. Looking at this young man's photo -- he is just a baby -- born the year my son graduated high school. He had his whole life ahead and jeopardized it for a thrill.
In the blink of an eye how so many lives were changed. It is life changing to witness a person die -- it was quick -- it was irreversible. The people in the car might be ok physically but what about emotionally. They will always question whether they could have changed something even though they probably never saw the motorcycle bearing down on their car. The witnesses who watched helplessly as this young man left this earth, a broken child -- somebody's child, somebody's special person -- and we wonder why.
Monday started out a really good day.
And then, it wasn't.