Tuesday was just like any other Tuesday. I went for a run in the morning, went to work, and came home to catch a run with Aaron before his 800m workout on the Dilworth Speed Loop. Aaron stopped and soon we left my house to start our run. We hadn't even run but 5 feet when the scariest 5 seconds of my life were about to take place. From the title, you can tell I was hit by an SUV. I know that is an extreme statement and you might be wondering how I could have walked away without a scratch on me. Let me explain.
At Seventh and McDowell, Aaron and I had the crosswalk signal indicating that we had the right of way to cross the street. Out of habit, we looked both ways and did not see any cars coming. We got about halfway through McDowell Street when suddenly I heard Aaron screaming. I looked up and I saw an SUV (think Yukon) coming straight towards me. Now that it's after the fact, Aaron told me that the reason why I heard him coming is because the driver was taking the left turn too fast and his tires were screeching.
I only had a matter of two seconds to consider my options before the SUV was going to hit me. In those few seconds, I realized that this car was going at least 20 mph, heading right towards me, and that he had not even started braking yet. In fact, the moment that I noticed him is the same moment that he noticed me, so he had about 3 seconds to brake even though he was about 10 meters from me. In my head, I knew that he was going to hit me no matter what and I calculated that if i kept going straight in the cross walk, that it would give him less time to brake, and therefore hit me while going at a faster speed. So, I decided it would be best to run sideways, in the direction away from the SUV coming at me. That decision alone allowed for me to still get hit by his front bumper, but with less impact. So, if you picture me running sideways, I was eventually hit by the front bumper in my left hip, thrown about five steps in front of the car. Somehow I just stumbled and never actually fell.
After I was shoved by the force of his car, I came to a stop and I pulled up my shorts, expecting blood or a bone protruding from my skin. Miraculously, there was nothing. Not a bruise, not a speck of blood, not a scratch. The whole time this was happening, Aaron was watching and screaming because the car was going so fast that Aaron had already decided that he was going to watch me get hit and thrown onto the asphalt and then have to take me to the ER. To make matters more complicated, the SUV driver never rolled down his window or opened his door to see if I was okay. Once I got out of the road, he drove off.
Like real runners do, Aaron and I continued on our run, but Aaron filled the silence by updating me on what's going on in his life because at that point, I was too flustered to make a logical sentence.
So, my running friends, I share this story with you for you to know that although by law pedestrians have the right of way in the cross walk, you really don't have that right of way until it's too late - when you are in court suing someone for violating that rule, with a broken leg or worse. Be cautious when you cross the street and be especially careful when you have your ipod on because you won't hear that car screeching towards you.