My Second Accident

Driving up the guide wire. 

In late October of 1976, in fact it was Halloween, I was finishing up the day at Insurance Company Of America where IBM had assigned me as a software trouble shooter and my team lead, Jim Smith said let’s go get a beer. 

So, we went to a nearby pub and I had two or three beers with him and he said we could go to his house or something to eat. It had been at least 7 hours since I’d eaten and I was probably not in the best of shapes for driving. I agreed since Geri was working until midnight anyway. 


Everything was fine until we got to a small gully that had an S turn going through it. Unfortunately, I was putting an 8-track cassette in my player at the time and missed the first turn (to the left) and continued straight. Somehow I managed to put the front right tire right in the middle of a guide wire that was helping hold a telephone pole straight. This caused the car to actually do a 180º flip and the car landed on its wheels. 

I was basically okay, but bleeding slightly from my forehead (I had a slight skull fracture it turned out). Jim told me to be honest with the police when they arrived as that was best. 

The police arrived and the policeman asked me what had happened and if I had been drinking. I explained the situation honestly and went to hospital in ambulance. 

After a day for observation, I was released, a much chagrined and wiser man ( never have I drunk and driven since ). 

My car was not totaled though it probably should have and we had only one vehicle for about 3 weeks. I also got the ticket the policeman have left and was surprised to see that it was for careless driving! 

Of course, I had a court date and went on the appointed day taking a long lunch from work. I forgot to inform our dispatcher and that turned out to be a curse/blessing. I was near top of line of those pleading guilty when my pager went off and by the time I got back from calling in, I was now last. This meant that all the others pleading guilty would precede me in being called. 

So, I listened to all these cases, moving violations, drug possession, etc. The judge asked all the moving violation offenders the same question; “Have you ever been found guilty of a previous offense?”  Everyone claimed it to be their first. I knew intuitively this was probably not possible and I can gotten a speeding ticket several years before. 

So, it was, that I had a quandary about admitting it. In every case, the judge assigned the fine and then the court costs of $25. When he asked me, I decided that honesty was the best course, and admitted to a previous infraction. Suddenly, the judge smiled and declared to the court; “Finally, an honest man!” He fined me $25 and then waived the court costs as a reward for my honesty. I know he could have checked any record of those before him so it paid off. 

I had planned to stop by police station to retrieve my license, but as I was leaving, the same policeman who had been at the scene came up to me. He said he had my license and then mentioned he could have written a different ticket but thought I had suffered enough and admired my owning up to the facts. 

Davdan @ 2008-2018