When we started this newspaper, my husband was thrilled to trade in his I-95 commute for the leisurely beauty of roughly 10 miles of A1A. No more dodging ladders in the center lane, truck tires flying into the front grill or the all-too-frequent slowdowns near tragic accident scenes.
Without the I-95 commute, we now felt secure in our coastal cocoon.
Sure, we know that cars and bicycles often collide along our main street, and the frequent sirens from Boynton Beach Fire-Rescue across the Woolbright Road bridge remind us that many people are having very bad days.
Still, we felt casually secure coasting along east of the Intracoastal.
And then we got a call from Chris Bellard, our friend, business partner and sales manager: She’d been in an accident and was at Delray Medical Center.
Chris, too, is a veteran of long I-95 commutes, and never dreamed her life would get turned upside down while waiting for the Atlantic Avenue Bridge to open.
Hit head-on while stopped on Atlantic Avenue? Hard to believe. Hit hard enough to result in broken ribs and a shattered knee? Unimaginable.
But it happened. Chris is home now. She’s doing great, but a full recovery is going to be slow and she won’t be driving for months.
In 2001, Progressive Insurance polled 11,000 of its policyholders and found that 69 percent were in accidents within 10 miles of home.
I’d heard variations on these statistics, and was vaguely aware that an accident like Chris’ was possible. Now I know. Serious accidents can happen close to home.
Be careful out there.
— Mary Kate Leming, editor