Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Plot to a Mystery... if only I knew the story.

This story is so surreal... it would make a great plot to a novel, if only I knew what the plot was.

A few weeks ago a woman, who must have been very distraught, made the decision to turn onto a rural divided highway going the wrong way. It was just after 10 p.m.. A Correctional Officer on his way home from work almost broadsided her when she made that fateful left turn.

Several other officers from the same shift encountered that car, barreling down Hwy 85 going the wrong way. The mystery lady traveled almost 10 miles down that dark stretch of highway. I imagine her sobbing, but have no idea who she was or what drove her to do what she did.

She almost hit at least four other officers before my husband came upon her. At first he thought the lights were a trick of the eye and must surely have been on the other side of the divided highway. Finally he realized that the car was in his lane and he had to bail off the highway onto the median to avoid an impact. The other car started to follow him off the road, but corrected itself.

Lenny looked back at what he could only assume was a drunk driver. Other cars were flashing their lights at the car, but he saw no taillights. He assumed the other car's taillights were out and wondered what he should - could - do, as he pulled back onto the road.

When he got home he was still shaken and concerned that he should have done something more... called 911 or DPS or something.

The next morning, early, another Correctional Officer called...

The woman, apparently (reportedly) suicidal, had turned her headlights off - perhaps after missing Lenny - so as not to miss the next car. Maybe that's why he didn't see taillights.

She rammed into another officer from Lenny's shift's car head on.

Both were killed on impact.

The officer, a young man married with a one year old daughter, never stood a chance. He never saw her coming.

I don't know who the woman was, but find myself fascinated by her. What was her story? What pushed her to drive 10 miles the wrong way down a dark highway and kill herself, taking a stranger with her? She almost hit at least five other vehicles in that time; that takes a level of determination I can hardly fathom.

As incredible as this story is, it never hit the news. For days I stalked the local news websites wanting to know more, but nothing.

I am extremely grateful that she didn't follow Lenny off the road. It's surreal... realizing that your life could have radically changed but for the snap decision of a stranger. And for someone else, it did.