Highway 55 is no stranger to me. Growing up with numerous trips to McCall for the past 17 years and countless treks to and from Moscow, I've certainly seen a mile or two on this road. It was a Sunday afternoon- I had spent the weekend in Boise and decided to leave a few hours early to make sure I had plenty of time before my 5 o'clock shift at the McCall Brewing Company. The date was June 9th, exactly 9 months to the day since Bobby's accident. He was on my mind even more than usual that day. I've spent a lot of time driving by myself between school, work and home- the alone time gives me a few hours to myself to think freely. These drives almost always involve a few tears, my mind automatically goes straight to him.
I was surprised by the little traffic I encountered and was impressed by the good time I was making. I came around a corner and passed a car with people waving and honking at me signaling to "STOP". I slowed down as I saw a few cars stopped up ahead. A man came running down the middle of the highway in a panic. I rolled down my window in time to hear him tell the car in front of me that there was a terrible accident involving a car and a semi truck and that there was no help yet. My heart sank and I immediately prayed for whoever was involved "God help them, help them, help them" was all I could say over and over out loud. I could only assume the absolute worst.
I didn't know how to react. A woman in the car behind me got out and started running towards the accident, so did many others. I was able to find cell phone service and immediately called my mom with a shaky voice and no idea what else to do. Eventually I walked past about eight cars and around the corner. It was a very sad sight. You can only image what kind of damage a semi can do at 50+ miles an hour. By the time I had the stomach to walk over there, help had arrived. I stood and watched as the paramedics used the 'jaws of life' to free the woman from her vehicle. Life flight struggled to find a place to land among the heavy traffic and narrow road. I could see what was happening but was far away enough to never see her face. I watched as the paramedics instantly began CPR all the way to the helicopter.
For the next three hours we waited for the road to open. All I could think about was what had happened in the helicopter. Wondering if they were able to save her or if I had just witnessed her final hour. I drove extra cautiously the rest of the trip and kept a close eye on those yellow lines.
I've been thinking about the woman in that van, her family and everyone who loved her. It was a very unsettling experience and I'm still not sure if it was just a coincidence that I was there. It gave me an idea of what happened to Bobby the night he died. He was not alone, people were trying to help him, he went from this life to the next in a matter of minutes.
I wish I could tell the family that they'll see her again and that I feel for them on an extremely personal level. I'll always think of her when I pass that turn in the road. I'll remember to slow down and to pay attention- this precious life can be taken away so quickly.
This tragedy gave me a whole new perspective. As if from the outside looking in on what we've recently experienced. I was on the same drive exactly one week later and stopped when I saw her beautiful cross- it was an entirely different feeling on that road. Rest In Peace Kristen Marie Scott