At 10:25 AM on Monday morning, two cars were idling at the intersection between Faunce Corner Road and Rte.6 in North Dartmouth, next to the Harbor Mall. They were waiting for the lights to change just as I do nearly every morning. Suddenly, a car came down Faunce Corner road traveling south and rammed into both of them, pushing them out into the intersection. The collision happened with enough force to turn the three cars into scrap. It nearly did likewise to the body of the driver of the moving car. She was removed from the wreck, blood issuing from a number of parts of her body, according to reports.
I don't know what sort of car that purple one is, but when I saw it I could not imagine what had happened to it. I saw all three cars, of course and knew that something out of the ordinary had happened to cause a three-car collision there. And, indeed, it is unclear what happened to Maria Machado, the driver who rammed them, and why the collision occurred. I passed within a few feet, but failed to properly rubber-neck. And stopping to take pictures didn't seem right.
As of now, Ms. Machado is listed in critical condition. A woman who was driving one of the other cars has died after having been reported as only sustaining minor injuries. A man who was driving the other car still appears to be OK. I don't know if Ms. Machado herself has regained consciousness since the accident.
Two people were just waiting for the light and one of them is now dead. I wonder if she knew what happened to her? How long before she realized she'd been in an accident. One moment she is just sitting there. The next moment she's... where? Sitting in the intersection? In the ambulance? The hospital?
It could have been anyone. It certainly could have been me. And then I wouldn't be going to pick up milk to put in the fridge so that the kids can have their cereal tomorrow morning. I wouldn't be going to play cards tonight. I wouldn't be compiling a new version of MathWorlds for work. I wouldn't be looking forward to seeing the Return of the King, or Matrix Revolutions, or Indiana Jones on DVD, or reading the end of Harry Potter to the kids, or finishing working on the house with my wife...