By Taryn Gillespie

At first, Oct. 7 was just like any other morning. My friend Daniel came over before class and I followed him toward the school. We headed west down 23rd as we do every day. It was a cool and busy morning, with many cars on the road, and I was into my usual routine.

As I approached the intersection of 23rd and Plum, the car in front of me made a smooth left-hand turn on a green light and I followed behind. I couldn’t see any oncoming traffic because the car in front of me was blocking my view.

As I started to make my left hand turn, I saw a car approaching, fast. I started braking as hard as I could but I was already into his lane.

The man in the oncoming car didn’t brake, didn’t swerve; in my opinion he didn’t make any movement to avoid hitting me. His car came closer and closer in what seemed slow motion. Then “Boom!” he hit me.

I quickly assessed the situation and backed my car up out of the intersection to the side of the road. Then I looked over into the man’s car. I didn’t see him moving much.

Daniel, who had been driving in front of me, happened to look back in his rearview mirror and saw the accident. He quickly pulled his car over and ran over to our cars.

Daniel is working on becoming a fireman and he has responded to crashes before. He went straight to the man’s car, opened his door and started assessing his condition.

While this was going on I was calling my mom and trying to get myself out of my car.

My car door was wedged shut and I couldn’t get out. Daniel then came over to my car and helped pry my door open and helped me out.

He made sure I was OK and then he called the police.

When police arrived, they went to the man’s car to assess his damages and he was sort of in shock. He was very scared and shaking.

The man was older, maybe in his 70s, so the police suggested he get checked out. The man left in the ambulance and his wife and son came to help finish paperwork and to get his car off the road.

The man’s car was crushed on the front left corner but still driveable.

The police marked my vehicle as unsafe for the road and suggested I get it towed. They finished the paperwork and I got a ride to class.

I feel blessed and lucky to come out of a situation like that with only some sore muscles and a banged up car because in all reality I could have died.

This experience has taught me to not take life for granted and to tell my family and friends that I love them and they mean the world to me.

You never know what day is going to be your last.

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