Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

A near head-on collision along Minnesota Highway 60 January 31, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 6:26 PM

WE’RE HALF WAY BETWEEN Waterville and Morristown when the near-accident happens.

Suddenly, a car darts around the truck behind us and aligns our vehicle. Then, headlights appear, cresting the hill. The car zooming past us in the “No passing” zone and the oncoming vehicle are aimed in a head-on collision course.

My husband hits the brakes. The truck driver behind us hits the brakes. The approaching motorist swerves partially onto the shoulder.

Yet, the passing driver still attempts to overtake a third vehicle, to beat the oncoming vehicle. But, at the last second, the offender hits the brakes, backs off and moves into the correct lane.

It all happens so quickly. Seconds earlier we are driving home from an evening with friends in Mankato, albeit following a car traveling under the speed limit. But on this dangerous, hilly, curvy stretch of Minnesota Highway 60, there are few places to pass. So we bide our time. We’ll get home, just a bit later than planned.

Then this driver, this crazy, crazy driver, tries to pass three vehicles, including ours, while driving up a hill.

Even my husband, who never gets rattled about anything, admits “that was close.”

Later, as I reflect on this, I’m mad—angry that a reckless, speeding, hurried driver would have such disregard for the drivers and passengers in four other vehicles.

I could almost read the newspaper headlines: Five-vehicle accident kills FILL IN THE NUMBER HERE and seriously injures FILL IN THE NUMBER HERE.

I have one message for this driver: You may not care about your life, but when you get behind the wheel of your car, it’s not all about you.

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling