My brief trip to Chicago was marked by spectacular early fall weather. In contrast, Connecticut had rain on and off all day today. This was evident to me on the wet roads during my drive home from Bradley Airport tonight.
Traveling south on the interstate through the city of Hartford, I saw a car just ahead of me graze the concrete divider on the right of the highway, sending sparks everywhere. The vehicle then careened out of control across the road into the left divider and then, like a pinball, it rebounded into the right barrier head-on, coming to a sudden stop. Watching this accident unfold was like a slow-motion replay for me. My first impulse was to slow down to avoid getting caught in the middle of this episode. I carefully passed the crashed car then pulled over to the right shoulder and fumbled for my iPhone to dial 911. I then left my car to head back to the accident to see what I could do to help. Fortunately the other driver who was playing Good Samaritan was an off-duty policeman, so I was able to follow his lead in extricating the driver from the car crash--he was mostly shaken up and had some pains in his rib cage (probably from the airbag impact) but had no visible cuts or bruises--and getting him to a safe location. Moving him turned out to be a smart move, because while we were helping, two other cars began to slide out behind us and crash into the barriers on either side of the highway. It was clear the road conditions were dangerous such that if we stayed at the scene of the accident, we might well be in danger of being hit by another out-of-control vehicle. So I led the driver of the first accident down the road a bit until state troopers arrived on the scene.
In the end, it looked as though no one was seriously injured, though there were some pretty banged up cars from the incident. I was surprised more people didn't stop to help, but I was glad I could play a small role in offering assistance.
An event like this does give one pause, though, and the rest of my trip was noticeably slower and more careful than it had been before.