Bill and I vacationed in New Mexico and Colorado for two weeks.
We traversed high mountain passes and climbed to new heights via narrow roads loaded with hairpin turns and scanty guardrails.
We put close to 2,000 miles on the car without even a hint of a close call.
Only to get home and nearly be killed by a speeding frac truck that ran a red light at warp speed.
We were on our way to pick up one dog which we’d boarded. My other dog was in the back seat.
We were east of Tuttle at the intersection of State Highways 4 and 37, waiting for the light to turn green so we could turn west onto 37.
We were only about three miles from the kennel.
The light turned green and Bill started into the intersection when the semi, which was eastbound, came barreling across our path.
He was close enough – and fast enough – that his passage rocked my Ford Escape.
He missed us by maybe a foot or two, never honked or used his brakes. Never paid one bit of attention to his light which had been red several seconds.
Certainly long enough for him to stop his rig.
Had he hit us broadside at that speed (we both estimated he was traveling close to 70 mph), the impact would have flattened my Escape, killing Bill, me and the dog.
In that instant, my life flashed before my eyes – and it was way too short.
Bill turned around and we gave chase.
It took us four miles to get close enough to get his tag number and that was just because he did stop for the red light at 37 and SH 76.
We followed him another five or six miles, relaying each turn to a Newcastle police dispatcher.
He was in a residential area southwest of Newcastle when police stopped him.
We had to go to the police department to make written statements. And then because the incident occurred in Tuttle, Bill had to give that department a statement as well.
The Tuttle officer told Bill oilfield truck drivers ignoring the rules of the road has become so severe a problem that the department has mandated overtime for its entire force to concentrate solely on those violations.
We are waiting now for word on whether we will be called to testify in court about our near-death experience.
It seems this is also a case for the federal marshals.
The truck driver stands a good chance of losing his CDL license for life. Sounds OK to me.
We’ve all been guilty of running a red light that changed when we were right at the intersection. But it seems more and more, too many drivers have a complete disregard for any traffic signal.
They ignore yield signs, stop signs, flashing lights on school buses and red lights.
They drive with a sense of entitlement that the traffic laws may apply to others, but not to them.
And that needs to stop.