I never saw him coming.
Two weeks ago, I was on my way to the office just around noon. I was crossing a busy intersection under a green light when a Chevy Tahoe came flying in front of me from my left. But this wasn’t just a Chevy Tahoe. This was a police officer. I slammed on the brakes but couldn’t stop in time before crashing into his vehicle. I never heard his siren or saw his blue lights until he entered the intersection. I sat in my car shaken, trying to make sense of what had just happened when the officer came to my car window.
“Ma’am, are you ok?” he asked.
“I think so,” I told him while handing over my license.
My heart was racing and my adrenaline pumping. What just happened?
I had no pain, no broken bones or even bruises. The officer walked back over to my car window and asked once again if I was ok.
“I am so sorry this happened,” he told me.
Within a few minutes the intersection was brimming with police cars. I wasn’t ready to get out of my car so I just sat there while blue lights flashed from every direction. Then a fire truck appeared. The same fire truck that arrived at our home five months ago when my Father wandered off for a few hours. The firemen checked him out and bandaged his wounds. Now they were here to bandage mine. Only I didn’t have any to bandage. Thanks be to God!
Soon a police officer pulled up behind the fire truck to begin an investigation. Apparently, it’s protocol for the investigating officer to be from a different city than the one involved in the accident so the report will be unbiased. She took down notes as I answered her questions.
A few minutes later, the tow guy loaded up my Honda behind the Tahoe and I took pictures of my mangled bumper and hood. There were so many officers standing around that I went up to one of them and said, “Could you please tell me who’s fault this is?”
He wouldn’t answer that. No one would. It was like there was a huge elephant in the room, or rather in the intersection, that no one wanted to address.
He said, “We’re just going to cancel this out,” while waving his hands down beside his body. “We’re not going to write you a citation.”
I asked the investigating officer who was at fault. She wouldn’t answer that either but said I could get a copy of her report in a few days.
My Father has always been a driving enthusiast. Before he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I would have explained the accident, he would have asked questions and given me his opinion, even if it meant I was at fault. He always had a way of looking at things from a different perspective. But not anymore.
Once I arrived home from the accident and told my parents what had happened, my Father was genuinely interested in what I had to say. But he wasn’t able to give me any advice. Three days later, I took him with me to pick up the police report. He needed the exercise and I felt safer with him beside me. Oh, the irony.
Scanning the report, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. The investigating officer reviewed video surveillance from the Tahoe before completing her report. She knew how fast he was driving and stated, “At no time did I observe vehicle 1 (Tahoe) come to a stop or a near-stop to check that all traffic was clear for vehicle 1 to proceed.”
I felt vindicated. Like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I thought this was pretty clear that the officer was at fault for not ensuring that it was safe to enter the intersection. But a week later, I learned that the police officer’s insurance company would not assume liability.
I never saw that coming.
I had just belted Dad in Mom’s car and we were sitting in our driveway when the insurance claims adjuster called to tell me at this point they would not assume liability. I told her that the police report clearly stated the officer never stopped before entering the intersection. She retorted that they don’t go by police reports because they can contain errors. What?!
She told me the Police Lieutenant disagreed with the report and she was going to review the video from the officer’s car herself and then make her determination.
My mind was reeling. So let me get this straight. You are being paid to represent the police and you don’t agree with the official unbiased report. So you are going to view the video and make the determination yourself? And how is that fair?
I was livid. I cut her off mid-sentence, which I’m not proud of, to tell her my side of the story but she wouldn’t listen. I was getting nowhere so I shut up, listened to her finish and then got off the phone.
Dad was sitting in the passenger seat the whole time I was on the phone. I don’t even know if he heard my conversation, but when I hung up, I put my hands on the steering wheel and called out, “Dad.” He was looking straight ahead at the back yard, watching for cats or deer to walk by. He was just so happy to get out of the house for a while and go on an excursion.
I knew in a nanosecond my Father couldn’t help me. How I missed him! But right at that moment something happened. Deep in my heart, I heard my Heavenly Father say, “Give it to Me.”
So I did. I gave Him my frustration and anger. I gave Him my disappointment and dread. I gave him the whole situation. When I left for work two weeks ago, I had no idea I would be in an accident. But He protected me and I walked away without a scratch. Last Friday, I had no idea an insurance adjuster would blatantly disregard a police report and try to assume the role of judge. But just as God protected me in the accident, He will protect me in the aftermath.
Of course, I wish my Father was able to communicate better and give me wise advice. But I still have him here with me. And my Heavenly Father will always communicate with me and give me sound advice. He’s not going anywhere.