No humor, no hyperbole. It's been two hours and I'm still having adrenaline jitters. The events are just a blur and I'm not sure I'll ever know exactly what went down.
It happened fast, right at the ragged edge of what my headlights could see. There was a cloud of dust and suddenly a car was veering across both lanes. The semi between me and them had to yank the wheel. Hard. There were tires in the air. The trailer started to go over, right into my lane.
I don't remember reacting. I remember feeling the ABS and then I was stopped halfway onto the grass. Another driver didn't brake in time and barreled clear through the scene, swerving inches from my door at full speed. The trailer righted itself and the driver got it safely stopped further down the road.
The car that lost control was on its side in the median. The occupants were out, standing, and miraculously free of major injury. By this time several other cars had stopped to lend aid. There was enough of a buffer of slowed traffic that further pileup wouldn't happen.
I stayed until I knew emergency services had been called. I know should have stuck around and at least given my account. If I had stayed long enough to come down off the panic response I'd have done the right thing. Everyone seemed okay and help was on the way, and that was good enough for whatever autopilot had taken hold of me.
My planned overnight stop wasn't far away but the ride was harrowing. Every flicker of headlight through the guardrail, every piece of rubbish blowing across the road, every iota of motion in my peripheral vision made my heart skip a beat. I had to leave the highway and finish the drive to the hotel on surface streets. What should have been a thirty minute drive took me over an hour.
As I sit here writing this I can't help but think what would have happened had I been just a little more tired, or a little closer to that truck.
I'm going to try to sleep now. Don't know if I can.