What a stressful week this has been! Monday, while driving home from work, the traffic on the freeway came to a dead stop. Not that it was moving briskly before, but now it was completely stopped. I should preface this with the fact that it has been really hot the past few days. All of the sudden I see smoke billowing up several hundred feet in front of me. Then I look in my rear view mirror to see a fire truck approaching. "Great. You've got to be kidding me" I think to myself. Some yahoo's beater car has overheated and is now engulfed in flames. "GAH! This is such an inconvenience!" I know that I should feel compassion for the poor schmuck whose car is on fire but I really have no patience for it anymore. There are so many beater cars on the road these days that its literally a weekly occurrence to sit in worse than normal traffic due to a stalled vehicle....Sorry. I had to vent. Back to my story. So I notice that I'm right near the exit that will put me on a straight shot all the way over to I-205. "Sure, this has got to be faster than waiting for the fire to be put out," I think. So I take it. I'm driving along when all of the sudden the car in front of me flips on her blinker to turn left at a green light. I switch lanes to avoid having to slow down while she yields to oncoming traffic. She slows down slightly and I see her car shake back and forth as if she's hesitating to make the turn. I think to myself "don't do it. Don't do it". Then she does it. She never stopped and proceeded to turn directly in front of the oncoming car. SMASH!!!! She t-boned the other car and sent them spinning past me. I quickly turned the corner at the intersection and pulled into a parking lot so I could run to see if the people were okay. The driver was stuck in the car and there was glass everywhere. His arm was covered in blood but overall he looked like he was okay. By this time, his wife had gotten out of the car and was yelling inappropriate comments to the driver that had hit them. I assumed it was just shock and I tried to calm her down. Then I went over to the other gal who (I thought) caused the accident to make sure she was okay. Her airbags had deployed and she clearly had a broken arm. She was pretty beat up and completely out of it. She was close to my age and I felt so badly for her.
Once the police showed up, I gave my statement. To me, it was very clear that the gal didn't yield like she was supposed to. Then, another witness who was sitting at the adjacent light comes up to me and says the light was yellow and the car that was hit tried to "beat the light" and ran a yellow. "What?! The light was totally green," I thought and just responded by saying "I don't recall it happening that way." Later that night, I got a call from the traffic police wanting my statement again. So I recanted the details of the crash.
The officer responds by saying "not to discredit what you are saying, but I have another witness who says the light was yellow and that the BMW who was hit ran a yellow and was at fault. You do know in Oregon that running a yellow light is the same thing as running a red, don't you?"
I respond. "Yeah, but wasn't this other witness sitting at the adjacent light? How could he have seen it was yellow? I was not slowing down to stop because the light was green. It never turned yellow because if it had I would have been slowing to a stop.
The policeman goes on, "well, just for future reference, I want you to know that it is illegal to run a yellow in Oregon".
What the crap?!?! Is this dingle-douche really giving ME, the witness, a lesson on what's legal and what's not? He's treating me like I did something wrong in this scenario. Of course I know its illegal to run a yellow light. Duh! That's why I was proceeding through a GREEN light. Is he really taking the word of someone who couldn't see what color the light was over mine, the person who was actually driving through the light? AND I might add, this other witness couldn't even recall his own phone number at the scene because in his own words he was "so out of it". Do you really think he was sitting at a red light, saw a huge accident occur before his eyes and then looked up and processed that his light just went from red to green? I don't.
Seeing the accident was pretty traumatizing. However, being questioned and talked to like I did something wrong was even more frustrating. Its no wonder that people don't stop to help more often if they are going to be treated this way. I learned my lesson. Way to go Portland police. You just lost another Good Samaritan. Next time I will be sure to keep on driving.