March is always a bad month to travel especially in these mountains. Either you hit high winds or fog. This time it is fog. The fog has gotten worse by the time we leave the mall for home. I didn’t like traveling when the weather is like this. Turning to my Mom, “I wish we’d left earlier. Can’t we turn around and go the other way?”
“I know, Donna. I didn’t think it’d get this bad or we wouldn’t have come this way. It’ll take too long to go the other way,” Mom looks concerned with the fog getting thicker as we head out Highway 14. Highway 14 to Henderson is treacherous enough in the day time. At dusk and foggy it is downright dangerous. “As long as I take it slow we should be alright. The worst part will be when we top the mountain and go into those curves. Hopefully we won’t meet anyone on that side.”
“I don’t think going slow is gonna matter if we meet anyone. You know how some of these folks drive around here,” I nervously watch for oncoming traffic. Mom only smiles as she eases down the road. She turns the radio on hoping it’ll take our minds off the foggy road.
We’d made it over the top of the mountain and through the first set of curves with no problems. The fog has even started to lift when we go into the second set of curves half way down the mountain. Out of nowhere headlights appear on our side of the road. Mom tries to swerve out of the way, but it didn’t work. Mom’s scream and the squall of tires fill the air as she tries to stop. When the brakes lock we skid sideways. The speeding truck hit us broadside on the driver’s side. Our Jeep careens across the road into the embankment. The impact threw us back across the road into the ravine.
The next thing I know I’m going into surgery at the hospital. My Dad is trying to tell me he loves me. I hear Doc Frank telling him, “Mr. Malone, we have to take her now if we’re going to save her life. When she comes out of surgery she’ll probably be in a coma. But don’t worry we have to do it to help her heal.” The last thing I see is Dad leaning down to kiss my forehead.