erik lundegaard

Dying for Tomatoes

So Patricia and I were driving home after two days of camping with my sister's family at Moran State Park on Orcas Island. The plan was to buy tomatoes, etc., on the way home, which is why, after the ferry-boat docking at Anacortes, Wash., P and I left Highway 20 and headed south toward La Conner, home of the tulip festival in April. It was after 6 p.m. and most stands were closed, and most of those stands just sold blueberries and raspberries anyway. We were on Samish Road, a two-lane highway (one lane heading north, one heading south), when we spotted a more-promising stand to the left. I slowed the car, put on my turn signal, and was beginning to turn...when the car behind us barreled past us in the left lane, the lane I was turning into. If I'd turned a second earlier he would've slammed into the driver's side of our car going 50 and we'd be dead.

It shakes you up. It's such a nothing moment and an everything moment. It shouldn't have nearly happened but it did (nearly happen), and some part of me keeps imagining the wreckage in the silence after the crash, and the people who came upon us, and the gawkers. It's like something out of an old drivers ed movie. Sudden death. Because we were looking for tomatoes and the guy behind us couldn't wait.

The promising stand, by the way, was closed.


Posted at 08:34 AM on Thu. Aug 20, 2009 in category Personal Pieces  
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COMMENTS

Uncle Vinny wrote:

I've always tried to tell people that (fresh) tomatoes are deadly, but this isn't quite what I had in mind. I've also never really thought about checking behind me for maniacs before I make such a left-hand turn. So glad you guys are safe!
Comment posted on Thu. Aug 20, 2009 at 02:36 PM

Andy Engelson wrote:

That's sort of how we wrecked our 73 VW bug on the Olympic Peninsula. Guy in a car ahead was going very slow and had his right turn signal on. We went to pass when suddenly he decided to wheel a U-turn--right into us. Car was totaled, we were OK. Turns out the driver was from Mexico and the turn signal meant for us to stay right apparently. Cultural misunderstanding.
Glad you all are OK.
Comment posted on Fri. Aug 21, 2009 at 05:01 AM

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