No matter what they think, crazy people can't fly.

I’ve seen some seriously bizarre things in my lifetime, but what I witnessed on Saturday afternoon took the cake…

I was coming home from a baseball game, driving west down I-30 near Ridgmar Mall in Fort Worth. As I approached the Ridgmar Boulevard exit, I saw something out of the corner of my eye that captured my attention. There was a multi-car wreck happening in the eastbound lane about 200 yards up the freeway. It looked like a half-assed NASCAR pileup; there were cars skidding sideways, parts and shit flying through the air, cars dodging other cars and smoke was everywhere. Luckily, I was in the westbound lane so I was safe, but I immediately hit the brakes and swerved into the right hand lane as a big Ford F-250 slammed into the concrete divider about 50 yards in front of me. The truck was a mangled mess and it was obvious that whoever was driving it would be a mess too. I pulled over to the right-hand shoulder, stopped and called 911 to report the accident. When the smoke cleared, it looked like there were quite a few other cars involved in the wreck as well. It was, no doubt, a major friggin accident and people would undoubtedly be hurt.

As I was giving the information to the 911 operator, the driver of the truck somehow got out and started screaming and beating on the side of the wreck with his fists. By this time, there were a bunch of people who had stopped on the other side of the freeway to check out the wreck and to see if anyone was hurt. A good Samaritan ran toward the dude beating on the truck, but before he could get to the guy, the truck beater hopped over the center concrete divider and charged out into the oncoming westbound traffic. Luckily, everyone passing the scene on my side of the freeway was going slowly so the guy wasn’t plastered by a speeding 18 wheeler. The guy was oblivious to the cars whizzing by and honking at him, he just started walking across the freeway and never looked up.

There was obviously something wrong with him because he was staggering and walking all stiff-legged, kind of like Herman Munster or Frankenstein. I could see that he was barefooted, bleeding from the bridge of his nose and had either spilled a drink in his lap or pissed all over himself. As he got a little closer I noticed that there was something wrong with his eyes, something really wrong. They were bulging out of his head like they had been popped out of the sockets. He literally looked like a cartoon character. Seriously, this dude made Marty Feldman look like Renee Zellweger. His eyes were probably poked out of his head a half inch or so… It was the strangest thing I’d ever seen.

The guy’s entire body was shaking as he got near my truck; his fists were clenched, he was mumbling something and staring intently off into space. I couldn’t tell if he was seriously hurt, mentally ill or if he was on PCP or some shit… Whatever it was, he was some kind of jacked up. His eyes were like nothing I’d ever seen before and the son of a bitch never blinked. I stared at him in amazement as he walked past the passenger side of my truck and continued walking along the shoulder of the highway. Honestly, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I must have hit the lottery of weirdness, because it’s not often that you see a big wreck and a crazy guy with bug eyes stumbling along down the side of a freeway. But that’s when things went from weird to completely fucking bizarre…

As soon as the guy walked past me, I noticed the good Samaritan from the other side of the freeway running along next to the concrete divider in the center of the highway. He was yelling something at the bug-eyed guy and was trying to get his attention, so I rolled down my window to see if I could hear what he was saying. The good Samaritan was yelling, waving his arms and trying to get Captain Insano to stop and sit down. It’s not like the guy had a whole lot of luck leftover to be throwing around; the dumbass had already been in a serious accident, crossed three lanes of freeway traffic barefooted and was now staggering down the side of the highway. Surely the law of averages was about to catch up with him. The good Samaritan was 100% right, the dude needed to stop and have a seat before his luck ran out. I have no idea what the hell I was thinking or why I decided to get out of the truck and go after the guy, but I did.

“Hey Chief, hold up a minute! You’re hurt! You need to stop and sit down! You’re gonna get run over out here, man!”

My plea fell upon deaf ears as the crazy looking guy completely ignored me and kept walking away. Other passing cars started to pull over, partly to avoid hitting the guy as he staggered along and partly to stare at him in disbelief; he looked that strange… The guy was about 50 feet ahead of me when he finally turned around and acknowledged that someone was trying to get his attention. He looked at me, then turned and looked at the good Samaritan on the other side of the freeway who was still running along waving and yelling for him to stop. I could see it in his eyes, those crazy fucking eyes. It was at that instant, a mere split second before he made his move, that I realized what was about to happen…

The man took another two or three steps, and then dove headfirst off the overpass bridge on which we were standing.

The thud of the man’s body hitting the concrete roadway some 40 feet below was easily heard above the noise and confusion of the freeway. The sound reminded me of dropping a bag of Sackcrete on hard ground; a flat, heavy thump. I looked over the concrete barrier and saw the man lying face down in a pool of blood on the asphalt roadway below. He was motionless…

I stood there for what felt like minutes, frozen by the shock of what I’d just witnessed. People were running from all directions, some with cell phones to their ears frantically describing the scene to 911 operators, others with the same horrified look of shock and disbelief on their faces that I had on mine. And all I could do was stand there…

The scene was frozen in time by a strange mix of adrenaline and revulsion. After what must have been two or three minutes, I heard the first sirens from the police and fire department responding to the accident. Two fire trucks pulled up on the other side of the freeway near the wreckage of the truck and I could see the people pointing toward the bridge. Traffic had come to a complete stop on both sides of the freeway and more and more people were getting out of their cars. The people around me were asking if I knew what had happened and if I’d actually seen the guy jump. There was speculation amongst the bystanders that the man might have been some sort of mental patient. Others thought that he may have been in shock or had some kind of head injury and not realized what he was doing. A few even suggested that he may have been grief stricken and just couldn’t live with the consequences of the wreck. After getting a close-up look at the guy and seeing those eyes, I didn’t know what to think.

Soon, an ambulance appeared under the bridge and a team of paramedics and firemen went to work on the still motionless man lying in the road below. They surrounded him while they worked so I couldn’t really see what was going on, but he was apparently alive when they took him away because you could hear him moaning when they strapped his body to the backboard and placed him on the stretcher. The paramedics wheeled him to the awaiting ambulance and they sped away from the scene.

I stood on the bridge for another few moments, dumbfounded and horrified by what I had just witnessed. People were milling around and comparing their versions of what had just occurred. I wanted to talk about it with the man who stopped his car behind mine, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. My thoughts were too erratic to process and nothing about what I had seen made any sense. The words to describe it just weren’t there. As I walked back to my truck, I wondered if I should find a policeman and give some sort of statement about what I saw, but I didn’t. I just got in my truck and left as quickly as I could. There were plenty of people around who saw the same thing that I did and were dying to talk to someone about it. Me, I just wanted to go home.

Like I said, I’ve seen some fucked up shit before, but nothing will top the fuckedupedness of the shit I saw on Saturday. At least I hope nothing ever will…

4 comments:

LoLa said...

Holy Shit. Wow. Omigosh.

Phillip Hunter said...

Un-Real. sounds like a movie scene... i am sure you have sought some counseling.

Hazel said...

No one should witness what you did. That is crazy and I agree with Phillip H - find someone for counseling. I'm sorry you were in the midst of it.

George said...

That is crazy.