Thrown in front of my truck

When I was 18 I moved out of the house. I went from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to a place called New Smyrna. It’s a small town 45 mins south of Daytona. I’d had a valet job at the Marriott in Fort Lauderdale so it was easy to transfer to the Marriott in Daytona. I worked there at night and went to community college in New Smyrna by day. No idea what I wanted to do with my life but figured a change of scenery would help. Lots of pretty girls to boot.

I get off my shift at the Marriott the night before my first semester of school was to start and I start driving through Daytona headed back to New Smyrna. I’m in my ’83 red Toyota truck. This was fall of ’92. I’m speedin down the highway headin towards the home front. It’s late and there aren’t many cars on the streets. I’m doin my best to obey the speed limit but the needle on the dash is sayin somethin different.

I’m in the right hand lane. Up ahead I see two dudes in their late teens to early twenties walkin on the sidewalk, same side of the road as me with their backs to me. I never seen them before. Don’t know either one of ’em from a hole in the wall. I’m quickly approaching, not paying too much attention to them but I’m always alert for the unexpected. You never know what somebody might do.

I start to notice a bit of an argument and quick scuffle break out as I approach. Then the one on the left closest to the street does something I never woulda thought anybody could ever imagine doing much less take action on. He grabs the other fellow’s left arm, spins and throws him out into the street in front of my truck. I had a split second to react.

I’d never seen anybody get hit by a car before. I know that one night a friend who I’d grown up w/ was driving down US-1 in Fort Lauderdale in the middle lane when a valet ran across the street to get a car from the parking lot for the club he worked at. Apparently, Dave, my friend was not to far behind the vehicle in the right lane but somehow created a blind spot for the valet who charged out in front of the car in the right lane to get across the street.

He didn’t realize Dave was in the middle lane just behind the car in the right lane. A split second later Dave was hitting that valet and the rest is history. The valet died. Neither of them ever saw the other coming. But, the relatives tried to sue Dave. That was a total accident.

But, what happened to me that night on the road back from Daytona wasn’t. This crazy, drunk psycho threw the other pedestrian in front of my vehicle- intentionally. He clearly meant to put him in the street. Luckily, my reflexes are freakishly quick. I swerved and avoided the tossed human. I looked in my rearview and the guy went back up on the sidewalk and faded into the night.

Who knows how that woulda changed my life? Would likely have ended his. Not sure how running into a pedestrian effected Dave. But, I’m glad things worked out in the end. Wonder where that stranger is now. And why his “friend” threw him out in front of me.