Thursday, May 27, 2010

"Are we on 'Cops' again?"

When a blog reader emails to say they're disappointed in my lack of blogging, it's probably time I post, right? Oops.

I've adored Glee since the first episode and I love live music, so I was super stoked when they announced their live tour.

I got tickets for myself and some other pals, and made arrangements to meet them for dinner and the show last Friday night. (BTW, Katie is the biggest Gleek I've met, and I know lots o' Gleeks. She can tell you which random quote is from what episode. She knows intricate details about the actors. She's hardcore, and it was awesome to attend the show with her.)

I drove myself to the venue, and as I traveled along a busy surface street, I noticed a car in front of me in the left lane (I was in the right lane) with a handicap placard hanging from their rear view mirror. Then I watched in what seemed like slow motion as they sideswiped a parked car and then slammed into the back of another parked car. Quickly I decided that I should stop to make sure that they were OK, and that it was my duty to the owners of the other cars.

A nearby valet gal ran up to assist me in getting the driver, an elderly lady probably in her 80s, out of her car. I called 911, who told me that if there was no damage to community property and if the driver wasn't injured and didn't want a paramedic, then they wouldn't send anyone out to take a report. I suppose I understood their reasoning, but given the nature of the accident, it seemed as though a report would be in order. The driver said she wasn't hurt, although she was quite oblivious and asked if I saw what happened -- because she had no clue herself. She looked at me in disbelief as I told her what I saw.

The 911 operator also said that the driver just needed to leave her info (name, number, insurance info, etc.) on the windshields of the cars she'd hit.

What I first assumed was another helpful passerby stopped to offer to call a tow truck for the driver, but then he dismissed the AAA card she tried to hand him. "No, they won't take your car to a body shop, and then they'll charge you for storage. I know who to call." Um, er...ok. It struck me as fishy, but I wasn't sure what to say or do. Then another guy affiliated with a different towing company appeared out of nowhere. He was a lot less sleazy and argumentative than the first, and also offered to help. Apparently this is a thing, maybe just here in LA or other big cities? Towing companies drive around, looking for accidents and ways to circumvent AAA? Who knows?

Anyhow, the driver had pleaded with me early on, "Please don't leave me..." I promised her I wouldn't until she was comfortable with me doing so.

I told her what the 911 operator told me about leaving her info, and she seemed comfortable with the less-fishy towing guy, who was convinced that the police were on their way and didn't want to move her car until they arrived -- even though I told them they weren't coming. With my concert in mind, though, I asked the driver if she was OK. She said she was.

I left a note on the two cars she hit, which read, "I witnessed the accident. If you need info, give me a call. Nanette (and my number)."

During the Glee show, I got a voicemail from one of the other drivers, who just wanted to thank me for leaving my info. I was happy to hear that the elderly woman had left her info on their cars, too. The next day the owner of the third car -- the one that was basically TOTALED -- called to thank me profusely for leaving my info. Apparently the cops DID show up, and she arrived at the scene just as the police was finishing up their report.

While I felt good for stopping to assist, it took a day or two before I didn't feel like there was more I could've done for that elderly driver, but short of driving her home myself, I'd say I did OK.

"I love wearing champagne bubbles. I get to express a whole different side of myself, because even though I'm painfully shy and obsessed with death, I'm a really effervescent person." - Tina, Glee


  1. Wow. When you come back, you sure have a story. It doesn't surprise me that you were a good citizen. I'm sure you weren't thinking this at the time, but you've got some good karma points!

  2. agreed that this was totally in character for you. glad you were able to help and it ended up ok.

    first thing i thought of while reading #399, but it's a freeway patrol run by metro. tow trucks just wander (ok, i'm sure they have a set route, but this is what it seems to me as i see them at the randomest hours) around the freeways looking for road hazards and stranded cars, but from looking into it further they don't really deal with accidents.

  3. You are awesome.

    Fellow Gleek
    (I went to the Friday night live show and it was great!)

  4. wow! what a story!!! glad everyone was okay!

  5. this was pretty much the polar opposite of what i expected to read in this post :/

    but like tater, i am NOT surprised in the least that you did what you did. i'd like to think i would've done the same.

  6. My secret is out!

    I had such a good time, I'm so glad we went. :)

  7. Good for you for being a good samaritan! More often than not - people tend to ignore these types of incidents.

  8. Wow. When I hear stories like this, I hate to say it, but I think: Hmm. Maybe old people should have to take their driver's a lot more often.

    I'm glad you were able to help!

  9. That was great of you to stop and leave your information for the owners of the other two cars. I witnessed a pretty bad accident a few years ago where the car in front of me stopped and then *ran* the red light and got t-boned in the intersection. I was sitting there in complete horror as I watched the whole thing unfold. I left my information with the driver of the poor guy who hit the car that ran the red and it was a similar situation - was thanked profusely by both the driver and his lawyer who called me later that afternoon to get my story on record. You did a good thing Nanette!