I was hit by a car as I crossed Elk Lake Drive on a pedestrian walk sign, at Royal Oak [Bus] Exchange in Victoria, B.C. on Thursday, February 5, 2015.
This is true. The car hit me hard just below the hip bone. I know this is a dangerous intersection and I keep my eyes open, but he hit me from behind. Just before the car struck me I saw the beautifully rounded front-end coming and I screamed. It knocked me about ten feet, but I kept my footing, mostly because it hit me just below the hip bone. If he had hit me any lower, or any harder, I would have been under the car with broken bones.
I saw the driver’s face through the windshield and he looked astonished: he stopped and lowered the passenger window and I saw the vehicle’s expensive interior. The driver said nothing. What could he say, after all? I told him to stay while I got his license plate, and while I was searching for a piece of paper on which to write the licence number he stomped on the gas and sped away!
I phoned 911 and gave them as much information as I had. I saw his licence number, but it didn’t register in the police database. That is part of the shock of being hit in such a manner. Two bystanders who must have seen something and who definitely heard me scream boarded the bus and left, saying they saw nothing. The policemen who came were more interested in bawling me out than in gathering further information. But at least they drove me home.
When I reached home I sat down and recorded everything that had happened. I was in a rage. I clarified my statements to the Police in the 911 call. I analyzed everything about the car. It was dark-coloured, I had said, but under the lights there was no reflection of any colour at all and so I realized the car was black. There was no chrome. The rounded hood struck me at 33 inches off the ground, dead centre in the hood of the car so there was no protruding bumper or sloping front to the car. It was high-powered and expensive; when it took off it powered up silently and moved rapidly with no effort at all. All my research led me to the higher-end BMW limousine… and on and on and on.
It took me a few days to reach these conclusions, but on that first night after I got home I spent a half hour or so in analyzing the situation. Eventually I realized that I was acting the same way as any writer would act, when faced with a writing problem that she must solve, and, in the midst of all my fury, I laughed. I realized that writing books has given me skills I never appreciated until now — skills I never knew I had. The analysis process was automatic. As a write, I have to anticipate every question a reader might have, and answer it before the reader realizes there is a question.
I am going through this problem-solving process now in the book I am writing, as I write the stories of the York Factory Express. In 1826, Aemilius Simpson described the various hunting methods the men used, and wrote of their preservation of the meat obtained. At this point, it seemed to be important to talk about the quantity of meat these men preserved. When I first wrote this, I presumed that each 1,000 to 2,000 bison would yield 700 pounds of meat. But my research informed me differently. For more information on that subject, see: http://nancymargueriteanderson.com/provisioning/
Going back to the earlier story, I told you that I laughed when I realized I was reacting to being hit by this bloody car, as a writer would do. This is what a writer does: he obsesses over a problem until it is solved. He asks unreasonable questions and find the answers, if there are answers to find. He shakes out every theory and reshapes it; he might keep it, or throw it away. He looks at every detail and judges it. He sharpens every word, and clarifies. He edits and re-writes and then edits again.
The writer also keeps the story and the analysis (and in this case, the bus schedules). Since the time I was struck at that intersection, Transit has consistently cut the schedules of buses that go past Broadmead Mall, forcing more people to cross those three dangerous intersections that block their way to the Royal Oak Exchange. Then, in the darkest three months of Winter 2015, Victoria Transit cut services even further, so that almost no buses run past Broadmead Mall in the evening. This move forces all those who work at Broadmead to cross those three dangerous intersections to Royal Oak Exchange.
Every transit company has a responsibility to get their passengers home in safety, but this company is intentionally putting their passengers in danger.
Three days ago I heard that a woman who worked in Broadmead Mall was struck by a car at Royal Oak Exchange, presumably at the same intersection where I was struck ten months ago. She is talking to her lawyer. I don’t know how badly injured she is, but I am sure she is — I know I was lucky, and that the same luck will probably not be passed on to the next person struck at Royal Oak Exchange. She has my sympathy, and any support I can give.
Copyright, Nancy Marguerite Anderson, 2015. All rights reserved.
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