Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Auto Vs. Pedestrian: Surreal

I was sore to begin with. A post holiday run at the Pacific Shoreline Marathon 5K on Sunday did that to me. Now I'm really going to need to rest.

Today while crossing the street at Valencia Blvd. and Citrus Ave in Santa Clarita on my way to City Hall, out of the corner of my eye I saw something move toward me. Then I was on top of that thing. Then I was on the ground staring at the driver. Then I was pointing to the parking lot for her to pull over and talk. Then she drove away.

I was shocked as it was. But when the car drove away, leaving me in the crosswalk, I was stunned - "Is this for real? Am I really in a hit-and-run?"

I'm lucky I was on top of the car rather than below. I'm lucky she didn't drive through me. I'm lucky I was able to stand up and walk. I'm lucky I got her license plate number.

Today was a red flag day, so when the police and ambulance came to City Hall, so did the fire department water truck.

I'm thankful for all the support I got from city staff who stayed with me through this. Even the Assistant City Manager gave a visit in the E.R. to check up on me. An all staff e-mail went out because rumours were spreading fast. It's all one surreal experience and I'm sure no one will ever want to park in the Citrus Lot for another few weeks (The Citrus Lot is our rotating overflow lot across the street).

Self defense mode must have kicked into gear fast because I wrote down her license plate down correctly. Sheriff's found the maybe octogenarian at her house where she apparently thought my pointing to pull over was a "No worries! I'm all good! Have a great day!" She must have been a little shocked too. How often do you make a left turn and all of the sudden someone is on your hood? Nevertheless, you hit someone, you pull over. Pedestrians don't win, even if I was crossing legally.

Weird thing is, I'm a pretty damn conscientious pedestrian. Traffic safety is one of my "things." I cross this street 5 days a week. I always keep an eye on "turn on red" drivers making eye contact with them. And when there is car that is going to make a left hand turn, I'll keep an eye on them. This time, there was no car waiting to turn left when the light turned green. I wasn't that far from the other side when I got struck. She must have caught the green and rode on through. I'll never cross a street the same.

After a long time in the E.R. at Henry Mayo Newhall hospital, I was released and drove back home. I'll have a check up with a doctor very soon. I'm still in more shock than pain at the moment, but a friend from LAist warned me: "I had a really good friend who was in an accident like yours and unfort. in like two-three days you're going to probably feel a lot worse than you do now." Alright! I can't wait. Bring it on!

So that's that. I have to give City of Santa Clarita employees props. It's truly a great City to work for. I can't imagine a better place to be hit outside of.


quantalizz said...

omg! poor boy! surreal indeed.... good you weren't hurt worse...

NotACop said...

Crossing illegally? And you thought it might NOT happen?

Zach Behrens said...

No, I was crossing legally. I had the walk dude and the countdown and everything. She failed to yield to me.

Jonny said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jonny said...

Sorry that it happened, but glad to hear you made it out okay.

Reminds me of the time I began walking across an alley, and at that moment saw a car careening down that alley towards the street at what must've been 40 miles per hour. The driver seemed to have no plans to even slow down to check out the crosswalk (let alone the street) before making a turn, but nevertheless managed to stop to allow myself and my sister to cross. The way it happened made us want to stand directly in front of the car, cross our arms, and stare at the driver in disbelief for a few good seconds, but I shrugged it off and let it go.

All the stupidity and carelessness on the road I see and read about (as a driver, a pedestrian, or a reader) has made me that much more of a conscientious and defensive driver from the moment I first got behind the wheel.

Here's to a quick & full recovery.

Steven Rosenberg said...

Was it a Toyota Camry?