01 January, 2017

Storytime | Crazy Travel Adventures Of The Carney Clan

This post was written by my husband from his point of view. The Events that took place in this storytime happened between 16, Dec 2016 - 18, Dec 2016. There will be more storytimes to come!

I am going to be writing about a trip my family and I were recently on. It turns out this wasn’t going to be one of our normal 2-day trips that we take four times a year. I know, I know This may seem like a boring blog post about travel, but just WAIT. Towards the end, we lose our minds due to an event, circumstance, intervention, whatever you want to call it. It’s both harrowing and, sad to say, extremely humorous, so keep reading!

It starts out on a warm Friday in December, about a week or ten days before Christmas. My oldest has to visit her biological father, so the trip was already having it's downs sides. We left our house around 2 pm that day and needed to take care of a few things on the way out of town. We stopped to get gas at our local grocery store, which offers gas points to reduce the per gallon cost. Not bad, in my opinion for shopping there frequently. We then stopped at a clothing store to exchange some clothing items for different sizes. While waiting, our dog decides he doesn’t like the contractors that are working on the new Studio Movie Grill being constructed and starts to bark like a mad-man. He then turns his attention towards a homeless man, where I tell him to hush. Some people are having a harder time than others and that he (the dog) could have easily been in his situation. He just huffs a breath at me and sits. 

My wife comes back about ten minutes later, gets in the car and we discuss the Studio Movie Grill and how it makes us hungry and can’t wait for it to open. While discussing the hunger I decide that we would go to Raising Canes. Wife places the dog in his travel crate and we proceed through the drive through. After a few minutes, we get our food and eat in the parking lot in the car. While I was eating I noticed another homeless man, potentially mentally off, swaying back and forth mumbling. He has a black overcoat on and a blue gym bag next to him. In the background only a block away you can see the towering AT&T Dallas Cowboys Stadium. In my mind, I was thinking “It’s amazing that in this world you can have a $1.2 Billion stadium and two homeless people in the same block.” I wonder about the world sometimes and how it came to be what it is now, but that’s another story for another time. We finish eating, place the leftovers in one of the plates and put it on the dash for later. I pull out of the parking lot and begin our long trip to see family.

About, 3 hours later we are nearing Shreveport. It’s time for the car to get a drink, so I find a decent gas station. Turns out, there was also a Starbucks next to it. I finish filling the car up and ask the Mrs. If she wants a Pokémon Go Frappuccino. They (Starbucks) recently partnered with Niantic and the Pokémon Go App to promote the Starbucks brand with a special drink. I go inside, use the restroom, then order 2 Vente’s. They were so good, at least to me. The wife didn’t like it all that much, so she gave hers to our oldest. It was sweet, made with raspberries, and topped with whipped cream. The babies seemed to like it, so not bad for a promotional drink for a game we play as a family anyways. We get back on the freeway and off we go.

Nearing Opelousas/Carencro, LA the dog decides he needs to go to the bathroom. I happen to see a rest area sign as he started up. We pull into the lot and park. I get out, get the dog leashed and notice how amazingly good it feels outside for a Friday night in December; time is nearing 12 am. It was a cool 77 degrees, winds from the south with a little humidity, but nor overpowering….yet. Louisiana weather takes a little getting used to, especially the humidity, but this was nice compared to all my previous trips to the state. As I’m walking the dog I spin the PokeStop that is at this one, let him do his business and walk him back to the car. I place him in his carrier so he doesn’t wake the babies and we get on the road again. About 40 minutes later we arrive at my wife’s sister’s apartment. We stopped so she could see the oldest before she went on her Christmas vacation. They talked awhile while I and her boyfriend played with a quad drone, flying it everywhere. Boy are those things fun.
We left her place around midnight and arrive at “Papa’s” about an hour later. We unpack the car, get our sleeping arrangements set up. The babies were helping him cook and having a good old time. I was outside enjoying the Louisiana weather not being able to sleep. The babies and I stayed up for about another 3 hours before I went to take a nap.

I awake about 6 am, got everyone loaded in the car minus a few items which we left at Papa’s as we were spending quite a few days there. We hopped on the interstate and began our trip in Hattiesburg. We made a few stops for the bathroom and to stretch our legs before arriving at 1130. We left about 12:45 pm back to Papa’s minus the oldest who left with some family on her biological father’s side. She was spending 13 days in Florida. On our way back we hit some heavy traffic on Breaux Bridge. Turns out it was an accident. My wife HATES going this way as there is ALWAYS something going on that shuts traffic down on this 30 mile stretch of bridge. For good reason, she grew up in those parts, she should know. Just like I know what roads to take in Dallas Ft Worth when there’s bad weather or on weekdays during rush hour, BUT this is the only way to get to and from where we needed to be.

We got back to Papa’s around 6 pm, the babies, and the wife went inside. I stayed outside with the freaking DINOSAUR mosquitos. I swear Louisiana has the largest blood sucking bugs I’ve ever seen. Yet my Texan hard head still stayed with them instead of taking cover. What’s funny is that you don’t hear them. You don’t see them. They just appear out of nowhere like ninja’s when you approach a light. NINJAS, I say!!!! I was outside for a good two hours, and 30+ bites before it was time for me to head back to Texas as I had to work the next day. Turns out the family had to go back with me, little did they know they would be awoken to some excitement.

Most of the Journey was uneventful. I was singing and drinking mountain dews so I would stay alert. Stopping every hundred miles or so to smoke or stretch my legs.

We’re nearing the freeway split outside of Dallas. Winds blowing like crazy. Temperatures sitting right at 19-20. This I know because I was just in it at the rest stop a few miles back. There’s a car in front of us in the left lane, nothing out of the ordinary. All of a sudden it swerves to the left. This is where it seems like time slows down as I’m watching in horror. The car over corrects the opposite direction, towards the right lane. It flips, where it continued to flip five or six times. Similar to what you see in action movies, but this time for real, with a real person inside. What horrified me next was that the car disappeared off the side of the road. Turns out there was a 20-30 foot drop into a ditch just before a river and bridge.  A tree line where the trees grew in the middle of the freeway, with a river on the other side. Total distance, maybe a quarter mile. This becomes important to know in a few minutes as you will see. As I'm pulling over, I put the hazard lights on and tell the wife to call 911. 

I jump out of the car and begin running back down the freeway median to the point of the wreck. I cross the freeway seeing as there was hardly no traffic this that of the morning, Sunday. I approach the guard rail on the other side as I don’t know exactly where the car went off. 

As I do I immediately see the car. 
Whoever was driving it was still in the car. Lights on, engine running and attempting to drive back up the ditch embankment. The whole top of the car is missing. The front and rear bumpers are missing. Tail lights are dangling by the wires, brightly lighting up every time the car went into reverse. The spectacle at the time was eerie, but later became too funny, more to come on that, though. I see an 18-wheeler on the other side stopped with the trucker watching as I was. Neither of us could approach the person in the car as it was unsafe with them in shock and trying to escape the scene of an accident. I watched in horror, just like watching a horror movie, wanting to turn away and go back to my but couldn’t. I was in a trance. 

Five to ten minutes pass waiting and watching to see if the person stops, but they don’t. I was able to pull away, run back up the freeway to my vehicle, where my wife informed me that EMS and the police were on their way. Not even a minute later I see two of them. One a sheriff of the local city and the other a state trooper. I get out of the car, turn my phone light on and start walking back up the side of the freeway. One of the police cars begins to approach me. I put my hands up to show that I am not a threat and slowly approach the passenger side of the police car. He rolls his windows down. At that point, I explain to him that I was the one who witnessed what happened and had my wife call 911 while I checked the person out. I explained to him what had happened and that I couldn’t approach the person because they were trying to flee. 

I then told the officer that the 18-wheeler who also stopped took off leaving me as the only other person the witness it. He told me afterward that the person had been drinking earlier, that he was ok physically, not a scratch on him physically. Just that he didn’t know what had happened. 

The officer told me to hop in and would take me back to my car. He was having trouble with his lock on the door so I asked him if I could reach in and unlock it using the handle. He was fine with that. If only you could have seen me on this. I moved very, very slowly, reaching in the window, waiting for him to grab my arm or something and slam my face into the car. It didn’t happen. The door popped open and I slowly very slowly entered the cop car and sat in a very non-aggressive manner. Almost felt like I WAS the one who did something wrong. He said let’s go and that was too cold for this #$%&. Ha ha. We pulled up behind my vehicle a few minutes later and said it was ok for us to leave. As I entered my vehicle, the wife and I saw EMS heading to the wrecked person’s way. This is where it gets funny. 
I was explaining to the wife what I had just witnessed and told her trying to be descriptive, that it looked like a shadowy blob clown car with two neon testicles hanging down behind it, trying to escape the dungeon of the Texas ditch. She busted out laughing. I then told her he kept running over them when he was backing up, trying to escape.

 (Disclaimer: We would not be laughing about this had the person been hurt or killed.)

The rest of the two-hour trip was talking about what happened and describing it different ways, laughing our heads off.

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