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Your Stories

Late Night Near Miss on Hwy 401

I am a craft vendor, and a number of years ago I was doing a show in Brockville. It was a three day show that ended late Sunday night. Most of us tear down after the show and try to make some head way on the road before we have to stop. It was midnight before I had things packed in my truck. The show had not been very good for me and I was itching to head home. The days had been long and I was quite tired.  I got on to the 401 and headed west. 

This part of the highway is dark and in the middle of trees on both sides. The highway itself has gentle curves and slight hills here and there. At this time of night and in this area there was almost no traffic on the road. Of course at this point I was quite tired and I was trying to make a gas station that I remembered down the road. The hum of the truck and the late hour put me into a semi sleep trance. 

The type that you have your eyes open but you are actually asleep for a few moments. Well at this time the highway is pretty straight but there was a little hill. I came over the hill and the change in motion must have woken me up, but right in front of me was another car stopped in the middle of my lane. Who stops on the 401 at 1:00 am in the morning? My first instinct was to avoid hitting the car and head for the ditch. When I turned the wheel I had no idea what the ditch was like after all I had just woken up.

Well as it turned out the ditch was a very gradual one that sloped off to grass. I sat there for a moment trying to get my adrenaline under control. In my panic I had noticed the other car drive up to the nearby off ramp and was waiting on it. I assume it was to make sure I was alright. After a few minutes I was able to drive again and I was not stuck. I drove past the off ramp where the other person had been, they had left when they saw I was still mobile. The gas station was not far from this point and of course I pulled over to sleep the rest of the night. So that was much too close for my comfort. I now make it a policy not to drive if I am tired. It is much better to pull over and sleep for a while.

C. Stevens, London

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