Spared and grateful on Christmas Eve
Two images would haunt my memories for a long time.
It was 8.30pm on Christmas Eve, dark, and the sky was pouring everything it had on us speeding along the Melacca-Seremban stretch of the PLUS highway. I was rushing back to KL in a Toyota Avanza packed with 9 of my relatives for a meet up with my friends for the countdown.
Somewhere along the typical highway mess of cars, trucks and buses rushing past us in the heavy downpour in the midst of hazy sprays of rainwater, the bright braking lights of a red car came into view as I looked out my left. But it was no ordinary passing car, for the lights were close, too dangerously close, and we were in the third lane.
In a sudden impulse to avoid the swaying of our Avanza to the red car on the left, my cousin, who was the driver counter-steered to the right — a little too hard. I would never forget what I saw next as the car jerked violently to the right.
In a heartbeat, the highway divider came into view with our car’s headlights illuminating it as we headed straight for it at 90km/h. There was no whole-life-flash-past-me nor light-at-the-end-the-tunnel thingy but I remember bracing for impact and thought, rather cliché-ly, ‘I’m gonna freakin die’.
Then wham. The impact came as we jerked violently again to the left. It felt as though the whole car bounced off the divider, slamming both front and rear sides. Everything happened so fast, before I realised the car was slowing into the emergency lane. My next fear was that speeding cars, or worst trucks, would slam us from behind, but surprisingly the traffic slowed down behind us as my cousin shakingly steered the car pass three lanes into the emergency lane.
God were we saved.
With all of us scared till white and shaking out of utter terror, my cousin cried out of relief at the wheel. We did not spare any time to get down to check the damage for everyone knows even the emergency lane isn’t safe, especially at night. Within minutes, my cousin got back on the road. And about 30 minutes later, we reached Seremban safely with much relief.
The damage was much less than expected. I had pictured much worse when we were still in the car but apparently, it turned out to be only dents.
The result of the initial impact into the divider, in which my aunt in the co-driver seat reached out to counter-steer the other way. Which was one of the reasons why we didn’t slam head first into the divider. But that life-saving manœuvre caused the car to sort of bounce off the divider and slam its right rear on it before my cousin steered clear of the divider.
In short, we sort of bumped into the divider twice at 90km/h, once in the front and another in the rear. And miraculously, if you inspect the two pictures above, none of the doors suffered damage.
The damage would look like any typical road collision. But what made that incident that harrowing was the fact that it all happened at high speeds on a wet, slippery highway, in a merciless storm at night.
Two images would haunt my memories for a long time. One was the dangerously close braking lights of the red car, followed by the image of the highway divider being illuminated by the car’s headlights right before the impact.
God we were saved.
I met a freaking accident at the Melacca — Seremban highway last night on Christmas Eve.
I only have God to thank on the fact that I’m still able to type this now.
More on this later when I have the time. Meanwhile, Merry Christmas to all!