Cassi Creek: During the morning hike with Mike the clouds were rolling around the high peaks and threatening more rain. By1100 the sky was beginning to clear. I took advantage of the cooler, drier weather to drive to Greeneville and have the Pathfinder washed and the summer’s accumulation of mold scrubbed off.
While the car was being dried and polished up a bit, I noticed a group of what appeared to be middle and high school aged girls across the street. They were wearing shorts and what were most likely bikini tops. They were waving homemade signs at the cars passing by on the bypass for 11 West, the major commercial strip for Greeneville. Traffic at that location is always constricted, most drivers following too close and too fast for the driving conditions.
The girls were bunched up at the edge of the traffic lane and trying to attract drivers into their car wash. I didn’t see the wreck, I heard it. I didn’t hear any braking noise, just the sickening crunch as a smaller, older care plowed into the back end of a full-sized sedan. The sound of a horn blaring continuously followed closely.
I didn’t see any ambulance or other medical support arrive. Many of the occupants of the bigger car were wearing some sort of scrub uniform. The smaller car was towed away while traffic crawled by and the eastbound inner lane was finally opened up to traffic again.
I doubt there were any lessons learned. On my way home, I had to travel past that location. The girls were still bouncing around, dangerously close to the traffic. The human eye follows motion. Knowing the danger it involved I was unable to avoid my gaze drifting to their jumping and bouncing.
It seemed as if no major injuries happened during the incident. Even after the wreck, the adults who were apparently supervising the girls made no effort to lengthen the distance between humans and automobiles. No one in the group acted as if they understood the risk of distracting drivers passing by.
I don’t know who was begging to wash cars and raise money. I suspect, given the appearance of the group, that it was some private school or home school group. I hope they make it home safely without causing any more auto accidents.
It all comes out in the wash if someone jumps and bounces around with sufficient energy and insufficient clothing.