Where N equals the number of participants or observers to an event there will always be n+1 accounts of what happened.
This is my account. I was driving in a parking lot. Traveling between 10 and 15 miles per hour when at approximately 3:50 p.m. a woman in a silver Taurus backed into my path and collided with my vehicle. I had no time to react. Boom! And the event was over. Our cars hit perfectly on the corners of the vehicle. My right front corner was hit by her right rear corner as she backed out of the parking space. My car stopped moving, and my windshield wipers turned on. My hand must have hit the lever on impact. That has no bearing on anything aside from I thought it was very strange.
I jumped out of the car to make sure everyone inside was OK. Yeah, it was only a 10 mph crash… but a kid could have poked an eye out with a crayon or something I guess. No injuries. I don’t even think you could fake one either. My airbag didn’t even deploy.
She was obviously a Nurse of some kind, deduced by her attire: scrubs. It was obviously a new car, deduced from the dealer tag in the window. And just three days after Christmas, no one needs that. I offered my condolences. She was obviously mad as hell, so I said no more. I observed her scream several times at the child who was in the back seat. And when I say scream I mean she shrieked. She shrieked so nastily, which such hostility and hatred, that each time I felt a flight or fight response and all I could think was “poor kid.”
I called 911 and reported the accident. They gave me a 30 minute ETA for an officer to arrive. I called home to tell my wife I was involved in an automotive altercation and then I called my insurance company to report the incident and make sure they knew I wasn’t paying a dime because she was at fault as far as I was concerned. I snapped a few photos for documentation purposes and waited. And waited. And waited.
The Officer arrived about 45 minutes later. Remember how I said I was originally sympathetic to this woman’s misfortune? Well, my sympathy completely ended after the Officer asked me my account of the situation and she acted out, yelling and hostilely denying the beginning of my diatribe after only uttering several words. The Officer commanded her to go stand by her vehicle in that way Police do. I swear Police have Jedi mind powers! And doesn’t everyone know not to raise your voice to a police officer? That poor guy didn’t want to stand out in the cold and do all that paperwork because of her stupidity. And he definitely didn’t want to do all that AND get yelled at.
I was given a sheet of paper to fill out by the officer. When I gave the paperwork back to him, he informed me that her story was quite different. I told him she popped right out of the space and I had no time to react. He said OK, and went to his car and told me I could sit in my vehicle to get out of the cold. So I waited some more. Finally he gave me her paperwork, that she would receive mine, and he told me I was free to go. I had checked my lights and most of them worked. I lost a running light and asked him if that would be OK to drive with. He said it should be fine. He asked if I had any other questions. I asked if he had determined fault or if fault was determined in a parking lot and he shared that he had not determined fault at this time, but I could check the report in two or three days to see if that changed. He mentioned that the insurance companies could and would work it out. In parting he did tell me that the woman who hit me was driving with a revoked license, so she’d be getting a ticket for that, which was ultimately in my favor. I thanked him for his time and apologized for the inconvenience to him — I have a lot of respect for police, they don’t get paid enough, and they deal with everyone on the worst possible days of their lives, it’s a tough job and I respect the people who chose it as a profession.
That was it… I was free to go. Now here’s the really strange thing. You know that sinking feeling you get when you see the blue lights in your rear view mirror? Or the blue and red lights in NJ and just the red lights in NY? Or the sinking stomach feeling when you get in an accident or something really bad happens? I didn’t get that at all. I was completely apathetic to the direct consequences of the events of this afternoon.