Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


May 10, 2013

How I almost became road kill

ASHLAND — I have never considered my job dangerous. Sure, I’ve been verbally and physically threatened, shot at once and almost driven off a mountain. But for the most part, community reporting isn’t exactly high-risk employment.

Now getting to work, that’s a different story.

After years of playing musical parking at metered spots on 17th Street, which often resulted in tickets, I got a spot in the nearby garage last fall. I would save money on tickets and meter fees, I thought, not to mention the time I wasted moving my car every two hours.

The two block walk to the office would even provide some much-needed exercise. This would be good for my wallet and my health, I thought.

I couldn’t have been more wrong about the health part.

That’s because I have to cross both 17th Street and Winchester Avenue to get to and from The Independent. While I’ve long been vigilant about intersection crossings, even when protected in my car by reinforced steel, I underestimated how attentive one truly must be when walking.

I’ve had a few close calls before, the texting teenager who rolled into the crosswalk a few paces in front of me. The old man who only looked left before turning right, almost rolling over my foot.

On Tuesday afternoon, however, I came the closest yet to being Winchester Avenue road kill.

 I had crossed 17th Street on my way to lunch and was waiting to cross Winchester Avenue. When the light turned red for Winchester traffic, I watched the cars come to a complete stop before looking both ways again and stepping into the road.  

I eyed all directions suspiciously as I made my way across four lanes. When I reached the fourth, just a few feet from the sidewalk on the other side, I felt a sudden wind on my legs as a car zoomed by, passing within an inch of my body.  A motorist turning right onto Winchester Avenue had decided the few seconds it would have cost him to wait on me was apparently worth more than my life.

When I realized what had almost happened, a hot wave of paralyzing fear washed over my body. A stranger yelling, “Are you OK? Are you OK?” as he rushed toward me down the sidewalk pulled me back to reality.  

I forced my feet to carry me the few more steps to safety.

“Yes,” I stammered out. “Can you believe that jerk?” I blurted out, my fear quickly turning to anger.

I felt violated and helpless. I was almost a front page story and a nameless Monday morning statistic. According to the Kentucky State Police’s running tally of pedestrian deaths released each Monday, I would have been No. 13.

Even more scary, though, is as I have told my story to others this week, I have collected many more. There were tales of right turns with drivers looking left. Blatant red light busting and, of course, texting or cell-phone-chatting inattentive drivers.

Crossing Winchester, it turns out, is like playing Russian Roulette.

Suddenly, parking tickets don’t seem so expensive ...

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at (606) 326-2653 or by email at cstambaugh@dailyindependent.com


Text Only
  • Lana Bellamy: Waking up America's youth: 4/18/14

    I once read a quote by a man saying the reason today’s youth do not have the same “spunk” as youth in the past is because they do not have inspiration.

    April 17, 2014

  • Mark Maynard: Let’s just forget about it: 04/17/14

    The older I get, the more forgetful I become. Does that sound familiar?

    April 16, 2014

  • Uncovering forgotten treasures

    You know the big difference between me and a hoarder? I mean, except that you can walk through my house and there are none of the disgusting aspects of hoarding in my life.

    April 14, 2014

  • Political stories worth retelling

    With Kentucky in the midst of the political season, it’s time to share some stories I’ve heard about the art of politicking.

    April 13, 2014

  • 0413timbizcolweb.jpg Tim Preston: Great salmon; finding Dr. Amy; and more Maria: 4/13/14

    It isn’t an especially convenient location unless you happen to be going that way, and if you don’t get there within the next couple of weeks you’ll have to wait until fall to try it out, but I had the best lunch I can remember last week at one of the last places you’d likely think of when pondering where to eat.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Restaurant horror stories; garden planning tips

    In my couponing classes, I always had fun with everyone by telling them gross restaurant stories. In encouraging them to eat at home more and save their money, I was also teaching them how much cleaner it is.

    April 12, 2014

  • Feeling happy is ...

    Anyone hoping the Ashland-Huntington area will soon overtake Disney World as “the happiest place on Earth” will be waiting awhile.

    April 10, 2014

  • 0410markcol.jpg Mark Maynard: Brick House (South Ashland Florist) brings in $13K so far: 04/10/14

    Here’s a 14-name salute coming your way:

    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Cannon: Take this joint, please: 04/09/14

    Some of the things that occurred during our recent week in Jamaica were unexpected and even a bit weird. I suspect those will be the things we will still clearly remember long after the memories of the hours of lying on the beach have faded. I started to mention them in last week’s column, but opted to save them until a later date in the interest of length.

    April 8, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: March Madness, sadness for Cats

    It’s just another game. That’s the message John Calipari preached profusely throughout the 2014 NCAA tournament. It’s typical coachspeak, but Cal’s young Kentucky team clung to the step-by-step approach to produce atypical results.

    April 8, 2014