Very happy to hear everything is ok...met yourself and Erin at the TO herf last year and she is cool beans.
I'll see your long story Keith and raise you with one of my own
Haven't really shared this story in a minute and I dunno if this can be considered a close call or not, but roughly almost 11 years ago my then girlfriend was coming up to Montreal to visit me and was gonna make the drive on her own at night. Me being the guy that I am I decided to leave Montreal early that day and make the 7-8 hour bus ride to Toronto to meet her and make the drive back with her so she wouldn't have to go it alone.
Arrived in Toronto without a hitch and was picked up in a rental car at the bus station downtown. Grabbed a quick dinner and proceeded to head to Montreal probably within 2 hours of my arrival. Was raining the entire day but when we left Toronto the rain became a torrential downpour. The type that the highest wiper setting doesn't cut it and most people either slow down to a crawl or stop altogether and wait for it to lighten up.
She just kept going regardless of the weather at somewhat of a fast clip given the weather. Asked her multiple times if she wanted me to take over but she declined and repeatedly said she just wants to get to Montreal. I even recall her overtaking an OPP (Ontario Provincial Police). Now everyone that has driven the 401 highway knows that it's long, boring and at night, very dark in between rest stops and towns.
I recall it to be somewhere just west of Cornwall before the Irving truck stop. With the rain coming down really hard still, she managed to hit the serrated rumble strips at the side of the highway that warns motorists "you-are-about-to-drive-off-the-highway-and-into-a-ditch". She proceeds to panic and immediately wrenches the steering wheel left. Had the weather been fine I'm positive she would have got the rental cavalier under control. What ensued was the car beginning to fishtail due to the wet roads, crappy all season tires and a higher rate of speed. Struggling for control she slammed on the brakes which made us fishtail left and right a few more times until finally careening sideways off of the shoulder and into grassy area off the highway. Once we hit the grass the car proceeded roll sideways. I think we ended up rolling 1.5 times and landing on the passenger side down where I was sitting. I recall the roll, I remember seeing the airbag deploy but not hitting me as I was reclined further back. Was strange the fish tailing seemed to happen so fast and the roll like slow motion.
Anywho once we stopped rolling, quicker than a snap I sprang into action. She was dangling sideways in shock and held in place by her seat belt above me. I freed myself and stood on the door window and confirmed she was conscious and ok, thankfully she was but in shock. I turned off the car ignition and told her we need to get out of the car in case it was on fire (watch a lot of movies lol). I tried to open the driver side door but it wouldn't open from the inside. Rolled down the driver window and attempted to open from the outside but no dice. Unhooked the seat belt and hoisted her out through the window and followed after her.
We tried to hail down any motorists or trucks for help but no one stopped or slowed and all they did was spray us with rain water as they sped along. After a few minutes I spotted a row of houses on the 401 west side of the highway so we ran across the 401 east, jumped a fence in the middle, and then ran across the 401 west.
We ended up knocking on the door of a grey brick house with what seemed to have red trim. I remember it vividly in my mind. Once I rang the doorbell I heard big dogs barking and a very nice older lady opened the door. I proceeded to tell her my girlfriend and I just crashed on the other side of the highway and if she could kindly call the police for us (our cell phones were left in the car). She let us in, offered us a cup of tea as we were soaked to the bone and called the police. She must have had 5 large dogs, 5 cats, a bunch of birds, hamsters, guinea pigs...she told us as her husband is a trucker the animals kept her company. After calling 911 she told us that a trucker already radioed it in and the OPP was already in transit. Few minutes later the cops arrived, we thanked our host who I do not recall her name for the life of me, and headed back to the car with the cops to collect our belongings.
Sorry to be super long winded but the point of my story is we could have lost out lives that night but didn't. We both walked away relatively unscathed save for a few minor bumps but nothing at all serious. Very thankful for that. My then girlfriend became my wife 5 years after that and have been married now for 5 and a half years with 3 beautiful daughters. From that day we've learnt to take one thing at a time and simply enjoy each others company. I've learnt to plan things more thoroughly and take all factors and risks into consideration. Almost see things happen before they do and take action from there.
As for the lady that helped us...I have driven on the 401 a vast number of times since then and for the life of me I have not been able to locate her house....as if it was never there. Some people might attest this to shock, the night and rain etc...I see this as a sign from God (or a higher power) to live and love life and pay the kindness forward if ever I can...