My entire family was travelling in two cars on 416 South out of Ottawa on Saturday on our way back to New York. It was a few minutes before 12 PM when we passed a red truck carrying a queen matress, box spring, and headboard in its bed. As we passed the truck it was clear that the items were not well-secured. My son Cory commented that it looked like the box spring was ready to blow out of the truck and in the next few seconds it did. What I next remember is Cory saying that the car that Dusty, Sarah, Lennon, and Cheyenne were in took a direct hit from the box spring as it flew off the truck. I told Noah (who was driving) to pull over and by the time we came to a stop and I was able to start back toward where the car my family members were in – there were a total of four other vehicles on the shoulder: Sarah and Dusty’s car, the truck, and two other cars.
As I said in my blog on Saturday – you’d be amazed how many prayers a mother can say in a short period of time. I don’t know that I even exhaled at all until I arrived at the car and received verbal confirmation from Sarah, Dusty, and Cheyenne that they were okay. Little Lennon (age 1) was all smiles – unaware of what all the excitement was about in his rear-facing carseat. Thank God for whatever it was that fortified that windshield and kept it together, because it likely saved them from severe injury or death. The car did have glass on the inside and Sarah and Dusty suffered some minor cuts, but that was nothing compared to what could have happened.
The other two cars that were hit had significantly less damage. The occupants were both young couples who were likwise rattled, but not injured. It took about a half hour after I called 911 to get the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) on-scene. During that time I took many photos and tried to stay away from the man who was driving the truck lest I became overly upset and aggressive. The urge to give him an hourlong lecture on safety was overwhelming.
The man with the truck told Dusty right away that he had done what was required to secure the cargo. Hello, sir – a box spring flying off a truck is evidence of negligence per se. Clearly it was not adequately secured. The man driving the truck was an older gentlemen – maybe 65 years old or so. He wanted to just give Dusty his insurance information and be on his way. He walked back to the area where the box spring had landed and drug it all the way back to his truck. He then cut off the fabric, bundled it up and asked Dusty to help him put the box spring back on the truck. There were some choice words uttered at that point by Dusty and others who heard this request, but Dusty helped him nonetheless. The man seemed to be oblivious to all the trauma he had caused with that box spring and I just wanted to shake him and tell him that his lack of care securing that box spring could have resulted in serious injury or death. I refrained – barely.
I have to give a shout out to OPP and their dispatch as they were great to us. The dispatcher – Gina – was kind and very helpful. She answered all my questions and encouraged me to call back should I need anything else. I was also very happy with the patrol officers who handled the scene and stayed with us for well over an hour. They were both very congenial and easy to talk to – thank you Patrolman Derrek Janveau and Patrolman Eric Dagg. All three were great representatives for the province and the kind of Canadians that I have come to know and love in my travels.
In total, we were on the shoulder for over two hours awaiting the tow truck and new rental car. I got terribly sunburned, everyone’s patience wore thin, and we all noted over and over again how grateful we were that it wasn’t worse. The day did go from bad to worse, but it started getting better when we were all able to walk away from this frightening event without major injury.
When we finally got back on the road we headed toward sunnier skies and happier memories across the border in New York. But that my friends is tomorrow’s blog.
Day one thousand four hundred and sixty-eight of the new forty – obla di obla da