Thursday, August 8, 2013

Mr. Norwegian: Part Two


We turned left from a dark side street onto the main road a few moments after the light turned green. Just a few more minutes and we’d be back to Jovana’s apartment. But, as soon as we entered the intersection we knew we were in trouble with no way to escape.

Bright headlights were coming straight for us.
There was no where to go.
Squealing brakes.
Crunching car.
Screaming erupts from the back seat.
Our car stalls.
Jocelyn starts to cry.
It’s her door that’s been smashed.
We look at our light.
It’s still green.

Jovana jumped out of our car to chase the guy down. Hit and runs in Belgrade are common and there was no way she was going to let this guy get away. Turns out the driver wasn’t going to flee. He got out of his vehicle, a bit stunned. He missed seeing his red light because he’d been looking just beyond it at the green arrow marking his reversible lane as open. An unfortunate, but easy mistake to make. He tries to stop. Or swerve. Or do something. Anything. But it’s too late. We’ve been hit.

Our situation remains precarious. Like targets, we are sitting in the middle of the intersection vulnerable to getting hit again.

I get out, run around to the driver’s seat, put on the hazard lights and try to start the car. Nothing happens. Yikes! A line of cars slowly begins to go around us. Jovana calls out, “don’t move the car!” She wants the police to see everything in its original position….they’re now on their way.

My thoughts immediately went back to the driving instructor conversation Jovana and I had been having literally two minutes prior to the crash. And I chuckle. I know this collision isn’t her fault. But the irony of it all is pretty humorous.

While waiting for the police, another random officer happened upon us. First he checked to make sure we were okay. Drivers who cause injury to others in Belgrade don’t just get a ticket. They go to jail.

I didn’t know for sure but I thought we were. Jocelyn, asleep before the crash, cried for a minute as it was happening and then fell back asleep. The officer wanted to make sure she was okay and to call an ambulance, if necessary.

I got out to open her door. It was stuck. I put my whole body into it, grabbed the handle and gave it my best pull. Success! Jocelyn didn’t wake up when I took her out but nuzzled into my shoulder seeking comfort from the chill night air.

The officer directed us to move our car, which thankfully started immediately, onto the sidewalk and out of traffic. A large back up had already formed and needed release. After getting everyone in a safe holding pattern, the officer left and we waited for the officers dispatched to our collision to arrive.



While we waited, the guy who hit us, who we now call Mr. Norwegian (he’s from Norway), came over to our vehicle. I got out. “Do you speak English?” I asked. “Yes,” he replied. We shook hands as introduced ourselves. “You know there are better ways to go about meeting people,” I said with a grin.
Complements of Facebook you now have Mr. Norwegian's photo.

3 comments:

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  2. I wish everyone could practice safe and responsible driving. It really breaks my heart to see tragedies befall just because of reckless driving.

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