the short story project


Tommy Friend

The Highway Don’t Care

I was driving a semi truck back in September of 2006. I was teaming with one of my friends from Fayette, Iowa. We were in Savannah, Georgia. I just woke up, it was my shift to drive. My co-driver was backing up to the trailer when we switched drivers. Getting everything ready to go and start my logbook for the day and I went to the guard shack to check out the load. Started heading down the road. I think we’re going to Seattle Washington, we had a good load with a lot of miles on it. I was leaving Savanna and heading down Interstate 16 northbound.

When I got on Interstate 16. I have really only been driving for like 10 or 15 minutes. I saw the silver car flying down the road doing like 75 or 80 miles per hour. And when that car got a few miles ahead of me it started to swerve really hard to the left and the really hard to the right and then back. I thought the car was going to lose control and it was probably going to roll over. But the next minute the silver car starts driving normal down the road and I could see it just driving down the road like nothing was wrong. I’m driving a company truck that’s governed at 65 miles an hour, we had a team truck so it could probably do 70.

It is still dark outside it’s like 4 o’clock in the morning. the silver car in front of me starts to slow down and so I pass it. I’m driving for like 5 minutes and that’s same silver car flies by me doing over 80 miles an hour. And he gets a few miles in front of me starts driving like it’s losing control again and I’m like what’s up with this car? why does it keep doing that? Now the silver car goes back to driving normal again. So now a white car passes and I could see the two cars driving away into the night and then I can’t see them anymore. Well I come up to this one exit it’s got overpass and I could see at the end of the exit ramp at the top of the hill.

At first, I thought it was a silver car and when I got closer it was the white car at the end of the ramp. I was thinking that the silver car is probably way, way ahead of me. Well, I go underneath the overpass. And as I’m driving I could see tire swerve marks that go really quick to the right to the left, to the right, to the left and then going right off the road. And as I come out from underneath the overpass. I can smell burning brakes. like back in the 90’s we would drive trucks with no Jake brakes and when got to the bottom of Monteagle Tennessee. with a heavy load & downshifting.

Every time the smell of burning brakes. So as I come out from the overpass I look out the passenger side window and I think I see something way over there on the other side by the ramp where you get on the highway. It’s dark and I’m doing like 70 miles an hour.  I’m not really sure if I saw something or not. I’m sure, no lie about this. I saw the skid marks and the smell of burning brakes and where did that silver car go?. So I put on my flashers. I start slowing down and pull off to the shoulder I was thinking, if that was me in an accident I’d want somebody to stop and double check for me. So my co-driver opens the curtain and says what are we stopping for? and I said well I think there might be an accident down the road by the ramp I’m going to check it out I be back in a couple of minutes. So I grab my mag lite and get out of the truck started running back to the exit ramp.

I parked a lot farther down the road that I thought. I’m running down the road and I noticed my big blue mag-lite with the 6D batteries is now flickering on and off and I started seeing the overpass and the exit ramp and the hill at the top of the ramp. On that hill by the entrance of that ramp was a car upside down with the lights on and I could see that the wheels still spinning on the car. I could have run on the road to get on the highway, but I figured the fastest way to that car would be cut thru the grass and the land went downhill and went back up all the way up to the top of the overpass. So now I pick up speed and I start running faster to the car the upside down. It was still dark outside and It was really warm outside and I start running thru the tall-grass; must’ve been 3 or 4 Feet high.

As I’m running through the grass looking at this car upside down all I could think was I getting into the car to see if anybody trapped in there. Well as I’m running thru all the tall grass pops up this girl her face is covered in blood and fucked up from being in the car accident. she pops up about a foot away from me and she just starts screaming at the top of her lungs.

“Help me”

“Help me” 

“Help me.”

Oh my God, this girl is now killed DJ Tommy Friend.

My heart just fucking stopped. But just like that big bass drum boom boom boom my heart starts pounding again. my heart is beating so fucking fast. She scared the living fuck out of me. A quick turn away from her I almost hit her with a mag-lite that’s how bad she scared me but since I figured she’s already covered in blood and her face is already fucked up. She must have been 20 feet away from the upside down car. I said are you okay but she just kept screaming at a broken record help me, help me she wouldn’t say thing else but Help Me. I saw her trying to stand, she kept falling down still screaming help me. I told her to sit down to stay down don’t worry I promise I’ll get somebody to help you. I flipped open my phone and I called 911.

The 911 operator answered and told her what happened as I was on the phone and I looked over and I saw someone’s legs laying in the grass. There was a guy laying in the on the ground didn’t look like he was doing good either. I was talking to a 911 operator she said driver I need your name your phone number in case we lose a signal. She says what’s your location driver I said I don’t know, I’m on interstate 16th going northbound I just started driving 45 minutes ago I left a shipper in Savannah, Georgia 45 minutes ago, and I’m 16th going north of 45 minutes away from Savannah, Georgia. She asks me what mile marker I was at. I said I don’t know, I wasn’t really paying attention to exit numbers and mile markers I was paying way more attention to these two cars driving on the road. Specialist the silver one going all over the place.  

I remember the 911 operator asked me is there anybody else in the car. I said I don’t know I said she’s over here screaming and he’s laying over there he’s not moving. She says I need to go to the car to see if there’s anybody else in the car. I said when the cops get here they can go look in the car. She says driver I need you to go look in that car. I had told her I already seen enough fucked up shit my lifetime and I really don’t care to see any more of it.

The fact I’m calling you means I’m clearly having another one of those days. So I went to the car and I looked inside of it in with my mag-lite still flickering on and off. It was really pissing me off because any other day it works great. But today the are going dead right. The 911 operator tells me, driver, we need to find your location I can’t pinpoint your signal you must be bouncing off two or three different towers. So I see some cars driving by;  I went to the shoulder and I start jumping up and down like I’m doing jumping jacks trying to flag these people over to stop so I can find out where I am. so we can tell the cops where we’re at. But everybody just kept on driving by thinking that nobody is stopping. No one would stop to help me. Maybe a dozen drivers drove by so I gave up. I see my co-driver coming up to us to see what’s going on. I tell him what’s going on and we see the guy lifted up his hand trying to make a phone call on his cell phone. I and my co-driver go to look at him. He looked Hispanic he was wearing a blue shirt that was open when a white T-shirt underneath. In the center of his white T-shirt was a pool of blood. My co-driver says to me is to look at the steam coming out of the hole in his chest. We could see the blood spot getting bigger and bigger on his white T-shirt. I look at my co-driver and I said well that can’t be good. And he says I don’t think she knows English the only words she saying is help me, help me, help me. I said she could just be a shock want to go there and talk to them, down. He said no way she’s scary looking. I said yeah I know I was running to that. Clear as night;  she pops out of the middle of nowhere scared the living fuck out of me almost clock her with mag lite.

Standing by the shoulder that’s the Interstate 16 still on the phone with the 911 operator cheeselike driver was still having a hard time pinpointing your location.  ….I looked at the overpass and it was still really dark outside and this overpass had like a three or four concrete foot wall at the edge of it. I thought I saw some moving on the overpass. I saw some moving really slow couldn’t make it out at first that I thought to myself. Is that the top of a white car moving on that bridge? at those police lights on top of that hood? I told the 911 operator I think I see some moving on the bridge think it’s the top of the police car. The 911 operator repeated right after me talking to the long arm of the law. He thinks he sees you on top of the bridge. Instantly came on the flashing blue and red lights. I muttered under my breath, “ yeah it’s a police officer on the top of the bridge he just turned his cherries flashing. Son of a bitch!”

She said yeah he just saw you turn your lights on. That police car was pointed in the other direction on the bridge not going our way but that police car took off 0 to 60. I could see the flashing blue & red lights in the trees on the other side highway. I looked over at my co-driver and the girl screaming, yeah still screaming help me, help me, help me.

I replied, “they know where we are now”. And not even a minute later, came cop cars one, two, and three all with their cherries on. The first car pulls up close to me the police officer gets out. The cop gets out of the car I remember him saying “wassup chief what’s going on?”

 So I told him the whole story and as I was talking to him. I can hear the sounds of an ambulance in the back round as I was talking to the police officer I looked over his shoulders saw the ambulance pulling up. The police officer ordered to the others, “Okay Chief we got it from here.”

 I replied with some hints of relief, “no problem” and turn to walk to my truck. looking back at that girl and I was thinking, See I told you I would get somebody to help you. This was the best I could do.

A Tommy Friend Story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *