Back in 2016, I was covering a worker strike across the street from Fashion Square mall. It was a good turnout of workers and some strong visuals. After I got what I needed, I jumped back into my compact Nissan and decided to make my way to another stop in downtown, the last before heading back home for the evening.
I was sitting at a stoplight. The light turned green, and I eased on the gas.
Then it happened.
I saw the car about a split second before it T-boned into the passenger side of my vehicle. It was like one of those jump scares they use in action movies, where the protagonist is going about his business and he’s attacked by a terrorist or something before a kidnapping.
If you’ve ever wondered what you’d say a moment before you thought you were going to get absolutely clobbered or even killed, this is an effective way to find out. My phrase? “Ah S—“. No particular excitement. I guess it happened too quickly for me to raise my voice.
The next few minutes were blurry. I remember an old women checking on me. She verified what I knew. The light was green. I begged her to stay and tell the police when they arrived, which was moments later. I thanked her. She had to go pick up her kids from daycare.
My car was totaled. Replacing it would decimate my savings. You might find this hard to believe, but I don’t make a lot of money doing this.
Orlando Police told me what I expected. This person was texting and didn’t know what color the light was. We never interacted.
Ultimately, everything sorted itself out. I did lose a lot. Probably got a concussion. I was lucky it wasn’t worse.
What bothered me is that it could have all been prevented. This person could have just put the phone down.
I see people texting and driving now and a part of me despises them. I could have been killed. There are many each year who lose their lives to texting and driving.
The families of these victims, I can’t imagine how they must feel.
Today, the Florida House passed a bill that would make texting and driving a primary offense (story HERE), I believe the State Senate should do the same.
Don’t allow someone you care about to fall victim to this easily preventable offense.