Sorry, I Didn't Get Photos This Time

The kiddo has a birthday coming up. She'll be eight. I remember eight so fondly. It was a breaking-out of sorts. I broke my arm on a bike when I was eight. Since kiddo already broke her arm, I feel I'm in a safe zone.

She and I have been biking quite a bit lately and her 16" Trek Jet is, frankly, too small. She looks like she could do a circus act on the thing. So, what did I do? I convinced the mom that since she'll do a lot of riding commencing this spring, and she's still growing, and her birthday is near, today would be a perfect day to take a look at bikes. Sure she's off from school tomorrow too but we could be riding tomorrow.

So I took the child to the bike shop, found the 20" bikes and let her pick among the following:
20" orange/black/white boys bicycle with crossbar and handbrake. Mean!
20" blue/black/white boys bicycle with crossbar and handbrake. Tough!
20" green/black/white boys bicycle with crossbar and handbrake. Fast!
20" pink girls bicycle with white tires, white woven basket, and pink tassels. Seriously?
I could on and on about how we develop women in our society to be weak and boxed-into secondary or diminutive roles but this isn't about bike shopping or kids or birthdays or how we treat our women. She picked the 20" green/black/white Trek Jet (aluminum frame with black anodized wheels) to test. It's the same style and color scheme as her 16" Trek Jet, by the way.

We went outside to test the bike and before you know it BLAMMO! From the corner of my eye a new, black Mustang straightens itself out on the road after smashing into a car that was slowly attempting to merge into traffic from a driveway.

The Mustang coasted into the parking lot where we were bike testing. I told B to wait right where she was by the door and I went over to see what needed to be done with the accident victims. Mustang's air bags had deployed and the young woman at the wheel was on the phone bawling, "Mom! Mom! I'm sooo sorry. I just wrecked your new car. I'm sorry, I'm never driving again!" She was shocky but otherwise breathing, and not bleeding.

I instructed the driver to stay where she was. I said, "I am calling 9-1-1 now, your car is damaged, but you are safe. Do not move. Leave your seat belts on. Assistance will be here very soon." She nodded that she understood. The alarm was honking on the car, steam and fluids were coming from the engine (not smoke, just steam) and that airbag powder was everywhere. The woman was pretty beat from the bags (which is why I told her to stay put until EMT arrived). The front passenger quarter was jacked! But the axle looked intact (but what do I know? Nothing! That's what).

Several other people had already made it to the other car so I was alone with Mustang. I could see my kid and she was fine too. So I stayed put for the two minutes until the first police cars arrived. I told the officer that EMT is en route, and I'll be...over at the bike store if you need me. He said he would come talk to me later. He thanked me.

Yep. She trashed that Mustang. Probably not totaled but close. Talked with the cop, he shook my hand and congratulated the B on her new bike and her coming birthday. All stories matched and blame was yet assigned. I'd attribute it 55-45 (Mustang woman could have reacted quicker and missed the slow exiting Buick). But I wasn't needed as an official witness unless, as the officer said, "I was just into going to court or something." I'm not.

But, when I first saw and heard the collision (and that is the order, see impact then a fraction of a moment after hear it) my INSTANT reaction was to reach for a camera. I had a point & shoot in my pocket but I suppressed the urge in favor of helping out. I guess I'd be a crappy photojournalist.

Before we left with the new bike, I took B over to the Mustang and explained what had happened, what the damage means, and how the airbags worked.

She might remember getting this bike for some time.