domingo, 11 de noviembre de 2018

Hit by a car

Had I told you about the time when I was hit by a car? I think I hadn't, so that I’ll take on that issue.

That happened in 1984 when I was part of the high school’s BKB team. We used to have training sessions every afternoon, and one day the head coach came up with the amused idea of make us jogging towards Cristo Negro Statue on Puerto de La Libertad Highway about 2 miles away and then going back to the school headquarters.

The reader must know that in El Salvador, as a third-world mentality country, safety measures have been considered like unnecessary chicken things. It was (and it still it is) common for people to walk or jog at the side or on the very border of some roads that don’t have sidewalks, without using any warning signal on their clothes (neither safety car nor motorcycle alongside). The only precaution is walking/jogging counter traffic direction, but even this elementary common sense procedure isn't always observed.

So for us, the plan sounded fun enough.

That particular afternoon was cloudy and fresh, with a light rain falling on your face outdoors, so that the road was slightly wet. We were happy and relaxed during the trip, but when we were almost reaching our goal, we must had to cross the street towards Cristo Negro Statue, watching out for moving cars.

Clearly I remember that I looked both sides and started to cross the first lane of the road, but since I saw a car approaching the next lane, I decided not to challenge my chances and stop, staying in the middle of the double-yellow line, letting the vehicle pass in order to finish crossing after.

The next ten seconds proved me wrong. Suddenly I found myself spinning throughout the air, falling out over metal sheets, bouncing several times until I finally landed on the ground and wondering what was happening to me. Then, I realized that I had been hit by a car.

Almost immediately the coach and teammates came over and checked me, asked for someone’s help and took me to the nearest hospital.

Fortunately, I didn’t get a single broken bone, my more serious injury was a wound on the scalp (I still have that 2-inches scar over my head) and curiously I never passed out, keeping conscious all the time. I don’t remember any particularly hard pain until the night fell, when all my muscles hurt while I was lying in bed.

The full recovery took about two weeks and during that time I was very worried, not by the accident but by the classes I was missing (yeah, that’s me).

Regarding the school, they covered the medical care expenses. Needless to say that, at that time, there were few laws regarding subsidiary responsibility and, certainly, there were no customary to sue institutions for negligence or allowing carrying teen students on dangerous activities. If the accident had happened today, I’m sure they would have been sued.

At the present day, I haven’t figured out how the accident could have happened. I clearly remember that I stopped where I had to. Maybe the driver thought that I was to continue crossing and, in an automatic reflection, pushed on the brake pedal causing the car got into a spin due to wet pavement or something.

I could have died but I survived.

But if I have gotten any knowledge from this experience, it'd be this: you better never go jogging on any kind of highway.

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