Contest Entry for the Writer's Cramp, February 6, 2017
The prompt words for the Writer's Cramp are:
"a car with its back in a ditch
a toe truck
car drivers using Whatsapp behind the wheel"
I was driving down Interstate 79 in the beautiful mountains of West Virginia USA one day when I came upon an accident scene. Police cars were everywhere and traffic was being diverted into the left lane. I had been listening to my two way radio for any traffic reports. I had heard a report earlier that there was an accident ahead but that traffic was easily getting around it by merging into the left lane. Traffic was light anyway so there wasn't much delay.
When I got to the scene I saw the police officer whom I had expected to see but there were several other people standing around as well. I couldn't figure out who they might be unless they had been passengers in the car. The car seemed to have no real problems. It was just a car with its back in a ditch. Now therein lay a real puzzle for me. Why was I seeing a car with its back in a ditch in the summertime? If I saw a car with it's back in a ditch in the winter I would assume it had hit a slick spot and slid there. That often happened because the rear end of most cars is lighter than the front end and have less traction. However road conditions were fine today.
Being a journalist I couldn't resist the urge to stop and find out what was going on. I knew the officer in charge on the scene would give me as many details as he could because I knew the local police well. My paper actually covered multiple jurisdictions. This happened to be one of them. So I pulled up and stopped far enough away from the scene not to interfere and approached the police officer I saw standing there. I knew him to be Sheriff Taylor.
"Hi Sheriff Taylor. Mick Jones with the Times. What's going on here?"
"I can't really say," Sheriff Taylor answered. It's an accident scene and it's still under investigation. Aside from that I can say no more."
"Maybe he can't say anything," a woman spoke up, "but I certainly can. The idiot driving the car is named Randy Jones. He's a driver for a company that transports people to and from medical appointments. He was transporting my children and I to an appointment with their pediatrician. Everything was going fine until he got a text message and decided to answer it while driving instead of pulling over. Somebody needs to do something about driver's using WhatsApp (and other messenger apps) behind the wheel. They at least need to pull off the road. Instead Randy insisted on driving while texting and we ended up in a ditch. It could have been a lot worse."
"Yes ma'am it could have. I'm glad you all are safe. "
"We'll be more than safe," she said. "We'll be a little wealthier when I'm done suing his company!"
"Do what you feel you must ma'am."
I took a tow truck picture for my newspaper and printed a story about texting while driving in my paper's next edition. It sold out. I wonder though how many simply read the article and ignored the lesson in it. Any drivers using WhatsApp behind the wheel are asking for disaster! They must keep their eyes on the road, not on the phone.