February 17, 2009 started out like most other trucking days, with a cold shower and hot breakfast near Abilene, Texas. “Nothing can happen today, Lord”, I prayed, “that you and I can’t handle.” Little did I know just how prophetic my prayer would be that day.
Arriving at a city furniture store shortly after 8:00 AM, to make a scheduled delivery, everything was fine, and I left without a problem. Pulling out a little after 9:00, enroute to my next stop, I took the northbound frontage road all the way to the freeway. Seeing my chance to loop under the freeway and head south, I turned my rig towards the overpass.
Too late, I realized there was no way my 14’ high trailer was going to clear the 13-foot high bridge. With a sickening crash, the impact caved in the nose of the trailer, springing crossbeams all the way back to the rear axles. Instantly the truck ground to halt, pinned under the low concrete overpass.
Although there was no injury, I immediately suffered a giant bruise to my pride. This was my first accident in several years, and I had the ego to prove it. So it was with a heavy heart that I called the police, my employer, and the insurance adjuster.
The Abilene Police Department responded immediately, and their motorcycle division arrived in moments. It was Sergeant Terry Monroe, actually, and he was, actually, the entire motorcycle division. As though he’d been sent by Central Casting, Officer Monroe looked exactly like the Hollywood version of a motorcycle cop; handlebar moustache, leather jacket, high topped riding boots, and of course, his Harley Davidson Police motorcycle.
I would’ve been impressed, were I not embroiled in my self-inflicted pity party. But I digress. Friendly but business-like, Officer Monroe immediately set about gathering information, measurements, pictures, and statements. It didn’t take him long. After all, he was good, and I was guilty. Bada bing, bada boom.
Soon it was just a matter of waiting for the wrecker. Ticket in hand for “Failure to Heed Control Device”, also known as a warning sign, I waited with Sergeant Monroe in the shade of the overpass. Still distressed over my own stupidity, I made the comment that this incident wouldn’t help my relationship with the Lord.
“You want to make God laugh?”, the sergeant asked with barely a glint in his eye.
“Sure, Sergeant Monroe”, I said bleakly. “How can I make God laugh?”
“Tell him your plans…!”, the officer said with a compassionate smile.
Sergeant Terry Monroe retired from the APD in 2013, after a stellar career of 29 years, and has no idea I’ve waited quite a while to share this story. I’m still in possession of a sense of humor, thanks to a uniformed saint sent by Central Casting riding an Abilene Texas Police Department motorcycle.