As the air bags deflated the light returned. The Suburban had air bags everywhere, in the doors, dash, and the overhead. My feet were higher on the floor than normal. I looked down to realize that the engine and transmission had been shoved back into the passenger compartment and buckled the floor back and up. Even though the engine was no longer running, I turned the key off.
I tried to move but found it impossible. The seatbelts had ratcheted so tight that I was having difficulty breathing. I struggled to get it unlatched and it finally gave way.
A voice asked, “Are you ok? The ambulance is on the way.” I turned to the voice and was looking at a State Police officer.
“Help me get the door open; I want to get out of this thing,” I said. We tried everything to get the door open but it would not budge. Finally I took a glove and brushed the remaining glass from the window channel. I worked my way around until my upper body was outside and sitting on the window opening of the door. The trooper put his arm around me and the other under my butt and together we slid my legs out.
He held onto me as I checked out my legs to make sure I could stand. I could hear the sirens coming. I check myself out to make sure everything worked.
I looked at the Suburban; it was obviously totaled. The front axle had been ripped completely out and was back against the rear one – that one was turned sideways. The roof was twisted and buckled as was the body.
The Tundra was impaled on the abutment all the way back to the firewall. The cab looked like it was mashed from every direction.
The trooper was still holding onto me, “I was several cars back. I did not see it all but it looked like he was trying to run you off the road. Do you know him?”
“I have never seen him or the truck before,” I replied. “I need to call my family and tell them I am OK and have them come get me.”
By some miracle my cell phone was still in the holder. I called Jenny first, “I have been in a bad accident. I think I was targeted. I need a car; bring me one of the un-marked ones. You will see the accident between Q-town and C-ville. Be careful.”
The EMT wanted to check me out. Before I went with him I said to the trooper, “There is a shotgun in the back of the Suburban – I need to maintain custody of it.” My pistol and other gear were still on my belt.
After the EMT was finished he said, “I can not give you anything for pain so you may end up at your doctor’s office for pain meds. You are going to be one sore puppy for a few days.”
There were a lot of police at the scene now – both state and the sheriff’s office. The discussions had taken a new tone and were intense. One of the deputies and the trooper came to me.
“Are you sure you do not know the other driver?” the deputy asked.
“No, I have never seen him or the truck before. Why? Who is he?” I replied.
“Jeff Justice. He is the county commissioner’s son. He is on his way here. It may be best if you go sit in the trooper’s car until your people get here. This is going to be tough enough as it is after the last few days.”
I did as he asked until Jenny arrived. Not only did Jenny arrive, but there was Marcy, Vicky, Ching Lee, Lorrie and Jason in tow. After tearful hugs and expressions of love we began the task of cleaning out my personal things and putting them in the unmarked car.
Several news teams arrived while we were cleaning out the Suburban. Marley Kendall walked over without the sound or camera men. They were shooting general footage of the scene. She asked if I would make a statement on camera.
“No, I think it would be inappropriate at this time,” I replied. We said a few more words and she went back to her crew.
The college laptop was destroyed. It had impacted with something and was broken in two. The JBG laptop was intact. My foul weather gear and extra clothes were no worse for wear. My shotgun and tear gas equipment looked OK. I was sure glad the gas equipment had not ruptured. That would have been messy.
A rollback was loading the Suburban on its bed with the winch when Duke arrived yelling and screaming. His son was still on the guard rail covered by a tarp. They were going to do a reconstruction of the accident because of his death. They had taken hundreds of pictures of the Suburban and used several cans of paint, marking all kinds of things on the ground.
I called the security desk at KCC and told them the Suburban was on its way on a rollback, they were to cover it in the maintenance lot and to lock the gate with one of our security locks.
Traffic west bound was backed up for miles while the county was setting up a detour route. They were turning cars around, letting them get to the detour route. The tractor trailers were being worked by the accident.
I would like to have taken a better look at the pickup but Duke was hysterical. I was sure I would have been the same way. They asked if I could stay until they had finished.
Jason stayed with me and the girls went back to the gym. We had a long talk. He had several bottles of water in his Suburban and I was glad to have one; my thirst had returned. Jason filled me in on all of today’s events at the office. He fired up his laptop and we looked through the applications that I would have done at the office if I was there for the afternoon meeting.
He and I picked out the next 25 candidates to be interviewed for Rochester. Then we picked out the 25 for Johnson Tri County; they were next on the list for staffing.
At 8 they were finally finished and told us we could go. Jason left in his Suburban and I in the unmarked car. I told him I was going to stop off at the pharmacy to get some OTC pain meds in case I needed them.
At the pharmacy I picked up some Advil, aspirin and Tylenol in one isle and in another a pregnancy test kit. It was time to find out for sure if Jenny was pregnant. I would leave it on her side of the vanity for her to find when she brushed her teeth Sunday morning. We were flying to Warrington on Thursday as soon as I got off work – to do interviews – and returning late Saturday night.
We planned to do the interviews at a faster pace than before. We were going to split up in teams so they would go faster. More than 75% of this group was ex-military.
With the reduction in forces causing so many to leave the military, there was an opportunity to get good people that were well disciplined and could follow orders. Another big plus is that they would need little personal defensive training.
Edit by Alfmeister