Please God, let me fly far enough through the air so his tires don’t run me over!
That was the only thought running through my mind as I landed on the hood of the car and the driver behind the wheel slammed on his brakes.
I was in my junior year at the University of Arizona and on my way to English 301. Just two days earlier, I had missed this particular class due to a car accident. A man raced his car out of an alley and plowed right into the side of my truck. I emailed Professor Britz and explained the reason I missed her class. She was very understanding and told me that she hoped my whiplash was not too bad.
I liked Professor Britz. I am not sure it was because she was a good teacher or simply because she liked my writing. I was looking forward to making it to her next class that week. Clutching the backpack slung over my shoulder, I stepped off the curb into the crosswalk and started to cross Park Avenue. The intersection was a four-way stop, or at least it was supposed to be. I was about a quarter of the way across the street when I realized the car that had been at the stop sign did not remain stopped, but was quickly picking up speed and making its way across the intersection.
At that moment, I think I experienced the same sensation deer feel when they see headlights approaching them. I stopped, turned towards the huge piece of metal on wheels, and simply stood there in shock. Surely, he sees me? Surely, he’s going to stop?
As I recall, it was a very low riding car. My knee hit the front of the car and I went up onto the hood. Like most car accidents that you see coming, the whole experience seemed to be happening in slow motion. As the man behind the wheel braked, I did my best to stay airborne for as long as I possibly could. I came down from my flight on both arms and one knee, right in the middle of the street.
Concerned pedestrians raced over to me. One helped me off the ground and asked me if I was okay. At this point, I may have used some special words followed by…NOT AGAIN! I AM GOING TO MISS CLASS… AGAIN! Crying and shaking my head, I limped to the curb and took a seat.
The student who helped me up off the ground looked around and announced to the onlookers, “I think she’s gonna be okay.”
The ambulance arrived and took me to the hospital. X-rays were done on my knee. It was badly bruised but nothing was broken. More than likely, I would just not feel like putting weight on my leg for the next few days. I found out that the driver who hit me was pretty upset about what had happened. He brought flowers to the hospital and a note apologizing for making me a temporary hood ornament on his car. The glaring afternoon sun had been in his eyes and he did not see me in the crosswalk.
I left the hospital on crutches and went home to email Professor Britz for the second time that week.
Dear Professor Britz,
You are not going to believe this….
I finally did make it back to my English 301 class. Other than the day I graduated in my cap and gown, it was the only standing ovation I ever received during my college career.