By Emma Turco
The Tower (Grosse Pointe, Michigan)
With two years of driving experience, driving down an expressway seems so trivial. Even when snow covers the lanes, I am never afraid of driving. This made my trip from Findlay, Ohio to Michigan State University in the blizzard an easy one, at the beginning.
I had bought tickets for the Michigan vs. Michigan State basketball game on Sunday, Feb. 1 with my boyfriend. Shortly after purchasing the tickets, I learned that I would be spending two days at a choir competition in Ohio before attending the game. Because of my confidence in driving, I was not anxious; until I found out about the blizzard that was savage enough to shut down even the Grosse Pointe Public School District.
My journey began calmly with a very picturesque scene as the snow gently fell on Ohio. I was somewhat nervous, the real trouble began when the gently-falling snow mixed with intense winds and ice.
I was making great time for driving a rapid 40 miles per hour. With only 20 minutes left of my two and a half hour journey, I began to notice my vision blur with the swirling snow. The snow and ice covered every inch of the three lanes, so I attempted to follow in the previous car’s tracks. However, I quickly found myself leading the traffic through the snow.
It was then that the incident occurred.
I felt my car slide on the ice. Unsure of how to prevent an accident, I quickly braked, sending my car into a full 360 degree turn across the lanes. I watched as the lights grew brighter and the cars came straight towards me. It was then that I felt my car drop from under me and I fell backwards into the ditch on the far right side of the expressway.
It took a few minutes to catch my breath and take into account what had happened. At first, I tried thinking of ideas to get myself out of the ditch without requesting help of professionals. I tried driving up the steep, snow-covered ditch and even using all of my 110 pounds to push my car to freedom.
Surprisingly, both ideas failed.
In a panic, I called 911.
Within moments, a policeman arrived on the scene and welcomed me and my tear-soaked jacket into his car. He helped me call my parents, inspect the car and call a tow truck.
Luckily, my car and I were perfectly fine.
Once my parents had been notified and a tow truck was on its way, the officer left me alone again. However, I wasn’t alone for long; I heard a tap on my window.
I looked up to see a large silver truck parked on the side of the road and a red-headed 40-year-old standing next to my window. I slyly reached over to lock the doors and motioned that I was OK without rolling down my window. To avoid further interaction, I pretended to be deep in conversation on my phone. However, minutes went by and he still didn’t budge. I finally rolled down my window and he asked if I would like to sit in his car with him.
As inviting as the offer sounded, I passed and hastily rolled my window back up. It took another five minutes until the man finally got the message and left me alone.
After waiting for two hours, the tow truck came and sent me back on my way, going 20 miles per hour through the snow until I safely made it onto campus.
Even though I felt bad for the drivers behind me moving painfully slow, it’s safe to say that my confidence in driving in the snow vanished.
Photo Credit: The Tower