Interstate accident leaves muffler man and Ram unscathed

Published 9:29 pm Saturday, August 7, 2021

Muffler Shop Musings

By Ricky Swindle

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Have you ever first hand witnessed an almost unavoidable catastrophe coming and had the mental capacity to remove yourself from the danger simply by side stepping the situation?

I got lucky last Saturday, or I was alert enough to be lucky. Either way it worked out well for me.

I was traveling up I-55 north in my Hemi Ram a bit before noon this past Saturday. To be honest, I rarely drive the posted speed limit. I am not a speed demon who goes barreling down the road at 100 mph, but I do know, or at least think I know ,how much slack the MHP will allow a motorist to drive.

They don’t waste their time on someone going a few pegs over the limit unless it’s a holiday or they have an announced crackdown or zero tolerance detail they are enacting.

With my cruise control set at my comfortable speed, I was listening to my Sirius radio and enjoying the cool air that is vented through the seats. I think that is my most favorite feature of that truck especially during the dog days of summer.

North of Sardis, this Audi automobile passes me. My truck has an alert light on the mirror that lights up when a vehicle is in my blind spot.

I look to my left and notice the passenger is female and has her bare feet propped up on the dash. I wouldn’t suggest for folks to ride like that, but each to their own I suppose.

As soon as the car passed me, they merged into the right lane ahead of me and immediately slowed down much to my dissatisfaction. Why do people do that? It’s aggravating to no end.

I check my mirrors and merge into the left lane with my cruise still set exactly after I click my resume button. The Audi retreats a good way behind me this time and I’m just floating down the road and minding my own business.

Now we all know there is a lot of construction work going on north of Senatobia because we live around here, but there are plenty of road work ahead signs that caution folks to drive accordingly. When I see a sign that says the left lane closed in 1 mile, I immediately change lanes. I do not wait until the last few feet and then try to race my fellow drivers to the cut-off point.

I notice up ahead on the bridge everyone’s brake lights are lit up which told me traffic is stopped. When I changed lanes, I backed my truck down to 60 because that is a construction zone speed limit and the MHP does not give any leeway on that and I wholeheartedly agree. But after seeing the brake lights I reduced my speed even lower to prepare for the impending traffic stoppage ahead.

In my mirror I see the Audi coming full speed ahead in the left lane and the brake lights on the bridge must have been her clue to break it down and merge right and she did immediately. She should have checked her mirror because the 18 wheeler behind her was not prepared for her nose diving lane changing maneuver and boom, it was on.

Folks, it was like a bad dream. It compared to a movie of sorts playing out in my mirror. The Audi was knocked in the air and landed in the median. The 18 wheeler was jack knifed, but still heading to my tailgate, sliding sideways full force. All I could see was this big box trailer coming straight for me.

Without thinking about it, I hit the gas pedal on my truck, turning it toward the shoulder of the highway almost in the grass frantically attempting to outrun this out of control monster of a vehicle.

The big truck finally shuddered to a stop at about 50 feet from my pickup and blocked the entire northbound lanes of I-55 in the process. How I managed to out maneuver being mashed by that gigantic truck The Good Lord only knows.

I jumped out of my truck and ran down to check on the two ladies in the car. They were very shook up and scared, but we’re not injured. I ran back to where I was parked and called 911.

The two drivers were out of the truck and a road worker drove down the median and picked up the ladies. All I could hear was tires squealing and metal crashing on the other side of the truck with all the other cars banging up with a chain reaction.

I figured I had done my part. I checked on the ladies and called for help. My truck and I had survived somehow by the Grace of God and I didn’t see any more use of me hanging around waiting on something to come around that truck and change my situation, so I drove away.

But I’m just old school, I guess. I own the latest greatest technology advanced i-Phone that is available to buy, but never once did I think of taking a picture of that scene. It never crossed my mind. I only needed two things –  to make sure those ladies were okay and for myself to get out of the way.

I don’t understand how some folks can just video people in need instead of trying to help.

Reminds me of the young man who drowned last year in Tunica. There were 30 different videos on the internet with dozens of folks standing around watching, but no one dove in to help. It’s pitiful the disregard for human life in this day and age.

Folks, take care of yourself and use that video phone hand to give a helping hand if you are able.

Join me 9 to 11 a.m. every Saturday on The Local Yokels Show on