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December 5, 2019

Another Wreck Up Ahead?

What is it with Kooky’s Road Trips and wrecks on the first night?

I had JUST posted that this one is dedicated to an awareness of our mortality and there he was, lying in the middle of the highway that runs through Kingman, Kansas, his crumpled bike a few yards away.

I had checked into my motel and was running to White’s Foodliner to grab something to snack on, something that pairs well with Cabernet, so I settled on some granola and a bottle of Aleve.

On my way back I was rounding the curve and saw a red pickup facing the wrong way, crashed into the curb in front of the Subway. There was an older couple out and obviously rattled.

There was only one other car, and it was in the oncoming lane, and it had stopped so as not to hit the truck.

As I got closer I saw debris in the road and slowed down. Then I noticed the debris was a crumpled BMX bike on my side of the yellow line. Then I saw the body lying face down, in the middle of the road, alone.

I pulled over just past him, and had to get my phone’s flashlight out to find the flashers on my old pickup.

The old man was on the phone and his wife approached the victim, but stayed several yards away, I suppose not knowing what to do.

In a small town like this, maybe she knew him, but she, nor anyone else, was comforting him.

I wanted to, but I saw more important matters...oncoming traffic that wouldn’t be able to see what was going on.

Once again, relying on my phone’s flashlight, I stood in the oncoming lane and waved cars to slow down and go through the subway parking lot. I wasn’t worried about the traffic in my lane, as I was blocking it with my, well, let’s just call it a “big rig.” Plus there were a couple of semis that had lined up behind me to keep it safe.

Finally, I heard the sirens and the EMTs arrived. Then the police. My work was done.

I don’t like to be a “rubber necker.” There was no reason for me to stay...I had nothing to add to the situation. So I hopped in my truck and headed back to room 31 of the Copa Motel.

He was alive when I left. He wasn’t moving, but I thought I heard them calling him “Ben” and assessing his situation. They were getting apparatus from the two vehicles, so I’m hopeful.

I’m only sharing this to remind anyone who cares that we have a short time on this earth...with our friends, families, and pets.

Clarence called me a month ago to tell me he had three months to live. He made it three weeks. Prior to that, it appeared he was winning his battle with the cancer. I remember him telling me, one week before the doctor gave him the bad news: “I feel great if it wasn’t for this cancer!” He was even excited to be back in the shop working on cameras again.

And now he’s gone.


“Enjoy every sandwich.” ~ Warren Zevon


Russell Viers

I'm just a guy who finds the world an interesting place and likes to capture certain moments with a camera. They aren't for sale, or anything. I just like them. Well, usually. I've taken a lot of photos I don't like, as well.

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