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Posts tagged: near miss

Near miss: Life in a flash

We were traveling out of the area yesterday and on a busy street with a lot of retirement communities that open onto the busy street. I saw the elderly woman dart out in traffic behind the wheel of her mid-size car. She flew across three lanes of traffic, including ours, narrowly missing several cars. I laid on the horn and she switched lanes quickly and crashed into the back of an SUV idling at a red light. Luckily for all, she was going slowly. When she crossed my lane, I was close enough to see her eyes. She looked dazed, clueless to the three or four accidents she had almost caused. When we left the scene, she was moving her car to a side street, slowly, following the man in the SUV. Had the woman had a stroke? Or high on prescription drugs? Or a woman whose license should have been pulled years ago? These were the questions that haunted us after this near miss.

(S-R archives photo)

Your life before your eyes

The recent mishap on the Southwest Airlines flight in which a mid-flight fuselage hole depressurized the cabin in scary ways reminded me of a story a USA Today colleague told decades ago.

He was having girlfriend troubles and I think they'd even fought before he boarded the plane. As the plane took off, a door somewhere (maybe to the luggage area) opened up and catapulted the plane around. It was several minutes before the plane could get back on the ground. He said he heard a lot of screaming, a lot of praying, but he found himself shouting the girlfriend's name over and over.

They broke up anyway, even though he was sure those name shoutings meant true love.

Ever had a huge scare like this? What were you shouting, whispering, praying, thinking about in what you thought might be your final moments of life?

(AP photo)

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About this blog

Writer Catherine Johnston of Olympia, Wash., addresses issues facing aging baby boomers and seniors as well as issues of serious illness, death and dying, grief and loss.

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