A little over a week ago I got up, packed the car, and picked up Nathan so we could head to Philadelphia. We drove on a Friday so we could get there early, and also because DJ and Sam had very kindly invited us to their rehearsal dinner as guests to thank us for coming. I am very vigilant about leaving WAY earlier than is necessary just in case traffic happens, so we headed out around noon and gave ourselves 7 hours for a 5 hour drive...never in a million years thinking it would take that long.
Traffic didn't hit until we got on I-295 going north past DC, and then everything came to a dead standstill. Cars were crawling forward, changing lanes was nearly impossible, and drivers everywhere looked incredibly frustrated with what was going on. Thankfully for me, Nathan was driving which meant that I could relax and just ignore the traffic, knowing we had left early enough to get there in time. I called my mom and we started to chat for a few minutes.
Out of nowhere there was a big impact on the rear driver's side of the car. Nathan started yelling, I started yelling, and my poor mom on the other end only heard crashing, yelling, and then dead silence. I dropped the phone and looked over my shoulder, only to stare at the front of a giant truck that was plowing into the back of our vehicle. After a few seconds it stopped and I picked up my phone, told my mom we were ok, and jumped out to assess the damage.
We had gotten hit by a dump truck. But here's where it gets crazy. First of all, because of the traffic I so often get angry at, neither one of our vehicles was moving too quickly. We got out of the car feeling sore, but neither of us had any major injuries. After I figured that out my thoughts turned to horror - ALL my camera equipment, my laptop, and more was in the trunk, which was right where we got hit. With our bumper missing and the rear side smashed in, I began to panic a little.
We popped the trunk open and I couldn't believe what I saw. There was all my equipment and bags, a few inches from where our car had been smashed, completely unharmed. My laptop lay gently against my camera bag like nothing had happened, and everything worked perfectly. Even more amazing was the fact that our car still drove. We had no idea what exactly happened to it - it was clearly NOT at 100%! - but we drove that car up to Philadelphia and back before dropping it off at the shop.
I do not EVER want to get hit by a car - especially a dump truck - but it's an amazing thing to sit at the scene of an accident with thankfulness in your heart for all that could've happened but didn't. So for our safety first, and then the safety of our stuff, I give thanks. And next time I'm stuck in standstill traffic, I might think twice before getting angry.