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I Got Hit By a Car in Yakima! It Was Scary, But I’m OK

Townsquare Media Michele Mathews
Townsquare Media Michele Mathews

I thought Friday night was going to be a fun evening. My oldest son was home from college to celebrate his birthday, and we’d decided to head to Olive Garden for dinner.

We parked across from Olive Garden near Chase Bank. The five of us were standing waiting at the crosswalk — myself, my 10-year-old daughter Shaylee, my 12-year-old son Jackson, my college son Mathew and his friend Niveo. We pushed the crosswalk button. The stoplight turned red and our animated “walk” guy lit up.

But as Shaylee stepped into the crosswalk I noticed to my left a white minivan stopped in the middle of the intersection. I immediately followed Shaylee into the crosswalk because as a parent, I’m not going to allow my kid to cross the street alone.

Also stopped at the same stoplight and headed east was a Moxee police cruiser.

I heard the engine from the van and looked to see where Shaylee was in the crosswalk. I honestly can’t remember if I yelled at her to “watch out,” but when I looked back at the van I could see the driver’s face and the van headed right toward me. I think the hesitation to see where Shaylee was caused a delay in my reaction. I tried to back out of the path of the van, but just wasn’t quick enough.

The force bent me over the passenger side of the van’s hood. The impact caused everything from my waist up to hit the hood — including the side of my head. As I bounced back up my left arm hit the minivan’s passenger-side mirror. Somehow I managed to land on my feet, although I stumbled back and had to regain my footing. The police officer at the scene said that’s what kept me from getting hurt worse — I didn’t hit the pavement.

Officer Jensen of the Moxee police instantly turned on his lights while whipping a U-turn at the stoplight. He quickly asked if was all right, then pulled over the minivan that had just struck me.

The kids and I got out of the crosswalk and began walking toward the police officer. As we got closer to the minivan we could hear the driver arguing with the cop. I thought this was odd. You just hit a person and you’re not concerned with their safety?

She apparently was trying to argue that she had a constitutional right to not produce her driver’s license. First I’d heard of that one, but the officer explained that a number of people try to claim a constitutional right to withhold their licenses. However, he said, it’s pretty much game over when you hit a pedestrian.

Moxee’s Officer Jensen was out of his jurisdiction, so he called the Yakima Police Department and YPD officers arrived within a few minutes. They took our statements as well as our info. I could overhear the officers chatting about the driver possibly being impaired. Officer Jensen stayed with us the entire time asking several times if I was OK.

Soon after YPD was giving her a field sobriety test. They never said whether she failed, but they did mention that she had a warrant in another county. They told me that she at least was going to spend the night in jail.

We left the scene and arrived at Olive Garden more than an hour later. As I was sitting there I started to feel pain in my neck, back and arm. My son Mathew said that my adrenaline was coming down, so now I was starting to feel pain I hadn’t at the scene.

I was really sore the following day, but opted out of going to the ER. I told everyone that I would try to go to the doctor today to give them some peace of mind.

I’m just so thankful that it wasn’t Shaylee because it could have been a lot worse if it was her.

Thank you to Officer Jensen for staying with us. I think his chatting with us helped keep the kids distracted and calmer. I honestly think if he hadn’t been at the stoplight the lady in the van wouldn’t have stopped after hitting me.

The lesson: Hug, kiss and love those close to you because you just never know. Things really do happen in the blink of an eye.

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