Saturday, January 19, 2008

A Bump In The Night

Actually, it was more like a crash.

At 1:05 am, my husband and I were rudely awakened by what could only be described as a horrible crashing noise.

We live about five houses in from a somewhat busy street. Usually, the street noise doesn't bother us, especially at night, when the traffic dies down.

Once before, we were dragged from bed by a horrible noise, and a stoned teenager had driven his car into a rock wall on the side of our neighbor's house. Unfortunately, he died that night.

So, when I heard the noise, I immediately feared the worse. The noise had sounded close, although we were both fast asleep at the time. We peered out our front window, our eyes noting that the street seemed darker than usual.

My husband saw it first: the light post that would usually illuminate the darkness was instead lying in a twisted heap in the middle of the street. Then I saw the truck in the nearest yard.

I grabbed the phone to dial 9-1-1. My husband went to see if he could help. By the time he got his shoes on and got out the front door, the truck revved it's engine and pulled out of the yard. As I was reporting the accident to the operator, I noticed another truck leaving our down the street neighbor's driveway and roaring off down the street in the other direction.

A moment later, our neighbor stumbled down the street toward my husband. I watched from inside as they talked for a few minutes. Then my husband came inside, shaking his head. These particular neighbors are "famous" in our development for their raucous parties that go into all hours of the night. When I last left on a business trip, my car picked me up at 4:00 AM, and there was someone passed out on their front porch. We have never called the police, but our good friends' house sits up behind theirs, and the parties have kept them from sleeping many times.

The neighbor told my husband "not to worry," because it had been his friends that knocked down the light pole. The neighbor claimed to have been fast asleep at the time. My husband said that it was clear that he was intoxicated. They spoke a bit longer before our wayward neighbor stumbled home.

A few moments later, a patrol car pulled up. My husband gave a statement of what we had heard and seen to the deputy, and also the conversation that he had with our neighbor. The lights from the patrol car illuminated the tree on the other side of the street that had also been hit and torn from its roots. It was a miracle that the person driving was able to avoid the many cars parked along the street, but the poor tree and light pole weren't so lucky.

The police officer walked down to the neighbors house and about ten minutes later, our neighbor was walked by in handcuffs. It turned out that the truck responsible for the damage belonged to our neighbor and was parked haphazardly in his driveway, although he claimed that he wasn't driving. Since the truck belonged to him and because he couldn't tell the deputy who had been driving, he was going to end up being the one that went to jail.

It took a few hours for everything to be cleaned up. Several of our neighbor's friends ended up coming to his defense, but in the end, the patrol car still pulled away with our neighbor inside.

I am just thankful that no one was hurt. The truck could have easily veered into someones home or another car on the road with an innocent person at the wheel. My teen aged cousin was killed in a drunk driving accident when I was 12. It was my first encounter with death and has made a strong impression on me since. I watched as that side of the family was nearly ripped apart by her death. Even though my cousin was not driving at the time, she made the very bad decision to get a car with her intoxicated boyfriend and failed to fasten her seat belt. Her boyfriend survived the accident, and I remember staring at him at my cousin's funeral, wondering what it was like to have that on your conscience. I remember him begging and pleading with my aunt for her forgiveness. She wouldn't even look at him.

I hope our Saturday morning rude awakening was a wake up call for our neighbor. The only victims of his crime this time were a tree and a light post. It could have been so much worse.


Polka Dot said...

Good night nurse! I thought only teenagers were supposed to act like irresponsible hooligans?!? I think you and your husband did the right thing by being honest with the police. Maybe this will be a wake up call for him.

I like the style of your blog - that roll of who's doing what on the left is awesome.

And thanks for putting a link up! I have an actual donation page that they can go straight to - (how's that for a super long url? hah).

Tracy said...

Wow. What a way to be awakened in the middle of the night. I'm glad nobody was hurt.

Maria said...

Wow, what a rude awakening. Thankfully it was only the tree and light pole. Hopefully your neighbor has learned his lesson.

My Reality said...

How scary. I am glad that nobody was hurt this time. I hope lessons are learned from this.