Two years ago, an 18 wheeler and I went toe to toe. The 18 Wheeler won. Let me take you back to the day it happened.
March 2008. While travelling on Joe Howe Dr heading to work, I notice that there is an accident up ahead. The traffic is stopped, and so I signal and start to move out into the outside lane, as to avoid the accident. I suppose at this point, that the driver of the truck, feeling big and good about himself, his truck being that indestructible force he wishes he were, took particular offence to my trying to pull in front of him, and decided to prove he was the “Bigger” man by tearing the front bumper off my car. After a short shouting match, which included a few expletives, the company of the truck sent out an insurance adjuster to review the damage. All Fine and good right? Wrong.
It would seem that a “Good Samaritan” Cab driver witnessed the accident, and felt the overwhelming need to clear his conscience and come back and pour his heart out to the officer on the scene. Now the officer did not see the accident, but was compelled to give me a ticket for an “Unsafe Lane Change” based on the “Eye Witness” testimony. Always good to add insult to injury.
So a court date was set for September. Of course I attended, and entered my Plea of Not Guilty. A trial date was set for Early 2009. What happened between then and now is almost as funny as the charge itself.
So March comes, and I go into court. Immediately I am asked if we could delay, as the prosecution does not have all of the witnesses and the Officer is on Vacation. Of course, I try to be accommodating and agree to the delay. I was itching to cross examine these so called witnesses about their seemingly professional opinions on Lane changes. I really wanted to see what a cab driver could offer in the way of safe driving advice. Laughable. So we wait longer.
Flash forward, to September of 2009. Once again I take time off work to attend this now growing comedy of errors. Again I am in the court room, again the prosecution is asking for a delay. This time the officer has H1N1 and cannot be present. I had to fight back the urge to laugh, but was able to repress myself. I agreed to delay yet again, as I truly wanted to face this challenge.
Come to Present day. March 9, 2010. I enter the court room, and sit next to an older gentleman, who asks me to read his subpoena for him, as he can’t really make it out. I tell him it reads court room 2. The room we were in. My name is called to come up, and low and behold the guy who could barely read his subpoena, is the first witness for the prosecution. Well I wish I could have framed my smile. The prosecution asked him a few questions about what happened, and then asked him if I was present, and to state what color shirt I was wearing. He answered a beigy color. For the record, I was wearing a black and white checkered shirt, and don’t even own a beige color shirt. This was the perfect. Obviously vision wasn’t his strong suit. So he continued to describe the accident, and the judge had to stop him. The judge asked him to clarify if either car or truck were over the yellow line. The witness said no. Of course this made the judge ask, “Well if neither of the vehicles crossed the line how did they collide?” The answer was as profound as any stupid answer can be. “ I don’t know, they just did. “Well , I actually laughed out loud in the courtroom. I didn’t mean to, it just happened. After a brief chiding by the prosecution on proper conduct, I settled down. It was my turn to ask questions. To fill in the blanks, the witness had indicated in his statement that I hit the truck, the truck hit me and they just collided. So I asked for clarification. He couldn’t really provide any, so in my best Matlock impression I asked” So My car was standing still correct? “
he answered yes.
“And the bumper was forcibly ripped from my car correct?”
He again answered yes. Here is where the good parts comes.
“ So if those statements are both true, and it takes a moving force to rip the bumper from the car, would it not be correct to say that the truck hit me?”
Silence. He answers after a moment with “ I don’t know”.
No further questions Your Honor.
For whatever reason, this was the only witness. Which kinda sucked, because I REALLY wanted to question the Cab Driver.
At this point the judge asks me if I want to say anything in my own defense. I abstain. At this point, really, the damage has been done, and the witness has all but exonerated me. The judge takes little time in deliberating, I think all of 30 seconds past.
Verdict: Not Guilty.