Sometimes all it takes to regain your faith in humanity is a little accident.
This Monday morning started like any other. I woke up to my basset hound’s nails click clacking around on the hardwood floor outside my bedroom signalling he was ready to relieve himself.
Opening the rear screen door to let him out, I noticed it was raining. Jinxing myself, I thought, at least it isn’t snowing.
After kissing my wife and newborn goodbye, I grabbed my lunch and got into my trusty Nissan Altima for the drive from my house in Courtenay to the Mirror’s office in Campbell River.
It was a little slippery to start, but nothing compared to the heavy snow day the previous Monday.
I was listening to the Smartless podcast while mulling over a column I was thinking of writing about the trials and tribulations of being a new father. As I made my way further north on the Inland Island Highway, however, the road began to get a little sketchy to drive on, and my focus on staying on it intensified.
At one point the highway narrowed down to about a lane and a half of drive-able asphalt. Any touch of the wheels on the slushy/ slicker side immediately resulted in uncontrollable skidding.
Most travellers slowed down, as was appropriate. But a truck driver who must have been in a hurry to get somewhere did not.
A kilometre or two past Hamm Road, the vehicle accelerated behind me, moved to pass, and I lost my nerve, veering slightly to the right.
Before I knew it, my car was sliding in the direction of the ditch, and there was nothing I could do but let it happen.
The Altima smacked up against a little metal post with a reflector on top while skidding, and eventually came to a stop.
I was perfectly unhurt, but there was no way I was driving unaided out of the predicament I found myself in.
Exiting the vehicle, I was sprayed with slush by a passing car, and actually started chuckling. Within a minute a lovely young couple stopped in their white pick-up truck to ask if I needed a ride. I was grateful, but declined, as I was hesitant to leave my car unattended. A colleague of mine also passed, and stopped safely a hundred metres ahead to ask if he could be of assistance. I thanked him, and told him to keep driving, saying I’d figure it out.
While texting my wife a heads up on what happened, a man in a black pick-up pulled over. The kindly passerby asked if I needed a tow, to which I exuberantly replied, yes!
Within seconds he was lying in the snow trying to find out where my tow hook was. Within minutes I was back on the highway and carefully making my way to my destination.
Before we parted ways, I got the telephone number of the snow Samaritan, and thanked him profusely for his help. He said when approaching my car, he thought it would be easy to tow out, and that he hoped somebody else would help him if he found himself in a similar situation on the way into work. I’m still beside myself with gratitude, and hope to pay the favour forward at some point in the next day or two.
It was a pleasant reminder of the power of kindness. I barely care about the driver of the truck which zoomed past me this morning; what will stick with me forever, however, is the goodwill shown by the people who stopped to check in on me, and the gentleman who was of great assistance.