Traveling to my parents’ house, I never knew that I would be an unwanted guest. Heading North on the Interstate, I was chatting with my oldest son, while his younger siblings enjoyed the movie, Antz, being played on the DVD player. Suddenly, I noticed bright blue lights flashing heading South in the opposite direction and immediately adjusted my cruise control.
Then, I received the unwanted invitation to be the guest for a police chase.We noticed that the car in front of the state trooper was not slowing down. When we passed the state trooper and the car, going in the opposite direction, we saw that a police chase was occurring. My heart skipped a beat. With everything that is happening in the news, all I could think was “That is not going to end well.” My heart started pounding. My chest ached. My children became worried. They kept saying, “He isn’t stopping.” Staying focused on the driving in my direction, I was just glad that the chase was not on our side of the busy Interstate. Thinking I had witnessed the end of the chase, I was so wrong.
All of a sudden, I heard my children say, “His signal light is on. He is turning around!” My son said, “Mama, he is coming this way.” I said, “Quit playing.” Then, I saw it. The old silver Mercedes proceeded to make a U-turn, where sheriff deputies for the next county usually sit for a speed trap. Now, the Mercedes was driving in the direction that we were headed. My heart skipped several beats. I merged from the left lane into the right lane. I kept glancing in my rearview mirror. Those shiny blue lights seemed to be in slow motion headed towards me. The other cars behind me did not want to move over. I kept thinking that I hope no one would try to play the hero and jeopardize the lives of everyone, including my children and I. When the silver Mercedes passed by, smoke hissed from the tires. The force from the state trooper and the Mercedes car pushed my car closer to the shoulder on the Interstate. My initial belief that the police chase was not going to end well was heightened when I noticed that the silver Mercedes was ancient.
Once the state trooper and the silver Mercedes zoomed past us, I felt relief. I spent several minutes trying to soothe my children. Our silent fears became loud. We hoped the state trooper was safe. We hoped the driver was safe. We sought to justify why he would run away from the state trooper. We just tried to eliminate the fear that was pressing deep on our hearts, especially mine. As we passed an exit, we saw the state trooper with standing behind the door of his car, and his gun aimed. My chest fell to my feet. I started praying, “Please do not let my children be a witness to this person’s death.”
The driver jumped out of the car. His hands raised. The state trooper’s gun aimed at his head. The driver kicked off his Nike flip flops and started walking toward the state trooper. Smoke streamed from the front of the ancient Mercedes. The other cars, heading in the direction that I was going, slowed down. I wanted to blow my horn and say, “Get the hell out of the way,” but I just drove. I refused to look in the rearview mirror. I couldn’t. As I proceeded to get as far away from the scene as possible, I exchanged looks with another driver. Our looks demonstrated that we were in disbelief about what we had just witnessed.
I did not want my invitation to be a guest to witness a police chase. I hope I never get an invitation to another one.